Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 23:00 • Mat Hope

Fossil fuel companies have a long history of adopting public relations strategies straight from the tobacco industry's playbook. But a new analysis shows the two industries’ relationship goes much deeper — right down to funding the same organisations to do their dirty work.

MIT Associate Professor David Hsu analyzed organisations in DeSmog’s disinformation database and the Guardian’s tobacco database and found 35 thinktanks based in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand that promote both the tobacco and fossil fuel industries’ interests.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 06:13 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 5 mins

The Polish government has implemented a terrorism alert in the province where the annual UN climate talks are about to start.

Climate campaigners are warning of a “tense atmosphere” in and around the city of Katowice in southern Poland, where the global climate negotiations, known as COP24, are due to kick off on Monday.

Katowice, a city of around 300,000 people — and the smallest city to host the UN climate talks yet — is about to welcome nearly 30,000 people for the climate conference, including heads of state, government representatives and UN officials.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 09:56 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 4 mins

One of Poland’s leading coal companies has become the first official sponsor of the UN climate talks, which start in the southern city of Katowice next week.

Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa (JSW), a majority state-owned corporation and the European Union's largest producer of high-quality coking coal, has announced the partnership with COP24 in a statement on its website.

The Polish Environment minister later announced that several other coal-sector companies had been chosen to sponsor this year's climate talks. 

JSW said the partnership would guarantee “the company’s active participation in the event and the possibility of promoting pro-ecological changes in the mining sector”.

Friday, November 23, 2018 - 01:28 • Mat Hope
Read time: 3 mins

The UK’s premier climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), received hundreds of thousands of dollars of US donations in 2017, recently published tax returns show.

The money was received at a time when the GWPF was allegedly coordinating with eight other right-wing thinktanks based in and around offices at 55 Tufton Street to push for a hard Brexit.

Another of the groups, the Taxpayers’ Alliance, received at least $286,000 (£223,300) from US-based donors in the last five years, the Guardian recently revealed — raising concerns about the influence of foreign money at a time when lobby groups are pushing to cut regulation to secure trade deals with major polluters such as India, China and the US.

Thursday, November 22, 2018 - 05:33 • Chris Silver
Read time: 12 mins

In a speech in Glasgow on 24 Nov 1946, the renowned wartime Labour Secretary of State for Scotland, Tom Johnston, painted a vision of the future. In his new role as chairman of the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board, he anticipated a time when water power in Scotland would equal “the total amount of power at present produced from steam-coal stations, with a surplus enough left to electrify the railways and provide power to introduce any number of new industries in the Highlands.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 15:48 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 6 mins

The warning is clear and dire — and the source unexpected. “This report unquestionably will fan emotions, raise fears, and bring demand for action,” the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API) told an oil industry conference, as he described research into climate change caused by fossil fuels.

The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world's peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 03:44 • Mike Small
Read time: 6 mins

Scotland’s seabed ‘rainforests’ are under threat from industry dredging proposals, with potentially significant ramifications for climate change.

Kelp is the generic name for several species of large brown algae seaweed which grow in ‘kelp forests’ in Scotland’s coastal waters. Kelp forests have been widely compared to terrestrial rainforests because of the biodiversity and abundance of flora and fauna they support.

The kelp forests are due to be exploited by a company called Marine Biopolymers, from Ayr, in South West Scotland, which is benefitting from a grant from the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) that helps microenterprises specialising in industrial biotechnology “maximise the value of seaweed”.

But campaigners claim the process puts the marine environment under threat from the mechanical dredging of large parts of the seabed causing a threat to fish stocks such as Atlantic Cod, Pollock and Saithe (also known as Coley), as well as lobsters, crabs and a host of sealife.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 02:11 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 7 mins

More than 100 people were arrested during a week of action across the UK as protesters demanded the government treat the threats posed by climate change as a crisis and take drastic steps to cut emissions to net zero by 2025.

Thousands of people joined a mass protest that blocked roads and bridges in central London, with some gluing themselves to government buildings to draw attention to what they see as climate breakdown.

This was the birth of Extinction Rebellion, a movement that calls for mass economic disruption using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to halt the destruction of the planet and its wildlife and prevent catastrophic climate change.