Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 08:30 • Mat Hope

You’ve probably seen the startling headlines — “Air pollution linked to spikes in hospital and GP visits”,“Air pollution causes nearly 15,000 cases of type 2 diabetes in UK each year”, “Young girl's death first to be linked to illegal levels of air pollution”.

It’s obvious that the UK has a major air pollution problem.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 05:53 • Mike Small
Read time: 5 mins

From around Fife and across the Forth in Edinburgh you can’t miss it. Mossmorran, a factory that makes plastic, spews out a giant flare lighting up the night sky and rocking the community that surrounds it.

After years of complaints and locals suffering the ill-effects of flaring from the Fife Ethylene Plant run by ExxonMobil and Shell at Cowdenbeath, residents have celebrated the 'final warnings' given by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

But the ruling raises deeper questions of regulatory failure and corporate power in a small community.

Monday, April 23, 2018 - 15:37 • Julie Dermansky
Read time: 7 mins

On the eighth anniversary of the BP oil spill, Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré stood in front of the New Orleans Federal Court House and called “bullshit” on the court’s handling of claims made by those who participated in the cleanup efforts. 

Thousands of workers BP hired to clean up the spill that polluted the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 have claimed exposure to oil and the dispersant has made them sick and still have not had their day in court. “It’s a crying damn shame we’ve allowed this in America,” Honoré said.

Monday, April 23, 2018 - 04:37 • Mike Small
Read time: 2 mins

The Mail on Sunday newspaper has again been forced to correct the record after continuing to publish  misinformation about climate change by its reporter David Rose.

Yesterday the newspaper was forced to publish an apology about a story from over a year ago that repeated false claims about a study by American scientists suggesting that the so-called ‘hiatus’ in global warming never occurred. The newspaper wrongly stated that the study was based on “faulty data” and had “duped world leaders”.

The Mail on Sunday published a correction that admitted the paper had been forced to admit it broke the Editors' Code of Practice.

Friday, April 20, 2018 - 02:26 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

By Megan Darby, Climate Home News

The UK will draft new laws that will cut emissions to net-zero, climate minister Claire Perry announced on Tuesday.

In a submission to the UN’s climate change agency, Perry said: “The UK will need to legislate for a net-zero emissions target at an appropriate point in the future to provide legal certainty on where the UK is heading.”

The notice was given in a cover letter for the UK’s 2050 climate goals to the UN. She added: “We hope the UK can be an inspirational example of what is possible” and committed to working with other parties to help them submit their own long term goals.

The UK’s own long term plan was its Clean Growth Strategy, a long-awaited suite of environmental measures released in October 2017. The cover letter pointedly referred to the strategy as the UK’s “current” policy.

Perry did not commit to lowering the UK’s own 2050 target below the 80% cut by 2050 mandated by the country’s climate act.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 01:59 • Guest
Read time: 3 mins

By Megan Darby, Climate Home News

UK Labour supported a call by Vanuatu for a “climate damages tax” on fossil fuel producers at a meeting of Commonwealth heads of government in London this week.

It is eminently reasonable that those most responsible for the damages caused by climate change should pay a greater share,” said UK Labour shadow international climate change minister Barry Gardiner.

He was speaking at a side event on Monday attended by Vanuatu’s foreign minister Ralph Regenvanu and Greens MP Caroline Lucas. Gardiner said Labour, unlike the Greens, had not settled on the tax as a formal policy.

Labour has not committed to a specific climate damages tax, but we are clear that fossil fuels can no longer hide away from their enormous responsibilities,” Gardiner said.

Monday, April 16, 2018 - 07:12 • Alexandra Heal
Read time: 7 mins

Londoners are being short-changed by a scheme designed to encourage property developers to improve energy efficiency.

Nearly a third of London planning authorities have never collected any carbon offset payments from housing developers, despite having had the explicit powers to do so for seven years, DeSmog UK can reveal. And several planning authorities are failing to spend collected funds, totalling £1.6m.

Almost two-thirds of the authorities who have collected money have never spent any of it, despite the funds being ring-fenced for financing carbon reduction and fuel poverty measures in their boroughs.

Monday, April 16, 2018 - 05:11 • Guest
Read time: 3 mins

By Husna Rizvi, Climate Home News

Commonwealth heads of state will begin meeting today in London, amid concerns over the unequal effects of climate change and efforts to fight it.

In its pre-meeting notes, the Commonwealth said that climate change would disproportionately impact poorer former British colonies. In fact, this year’s meeting was relocated to London from Vanuatu after the Pacific island’s infrastructure was badly damaged by Cyclone Pam in 2015.

The Commonwealth is well placed to take action,” the statement said. “Underlining our on-going commitment to tackling climate change, protecting the environment and increasing the resilience of our members.”

But a report from Christian Aid, released on Monday, finds the Commonwealth’s richest members – Australia, Canada and the UK – were not doing enough to tackle the threat, while poorer countries were overachieving on their emissions cuts.