Chloe Farand

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New Health Secretary Matt Hancock Receives an Annual £4,000 Cash Bundle From Climate Science Denier Funder

Read time: 3 mins
Matt Hancock

The new health secretary Matt Hancock has received £18,000 from a key donor to the UK’s climate science denial think tank over the last four years, according to official government figures.

Hancock, who was promoted to health secretary in Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle following a dramatic day of resignations over the Prime Minister Brexit’s plan, has received regular cash from Neil Record, who has repeatedly argued that the science of climate change is not “settled”.

Introducing Dominic Raab — The New Brexit Secretary with Ties to the UK's Climate Science Denial Network

Read time: 8 mins
Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab has been appointed Secretary of State for Brexit following David Davis’ resignation. He is a hardline Brexiteer with links to an extended network of individuals and organisations pushing deregulation and climate science denial.

A former solicitor, Raab worked as Davis’s chief of staff between 2006 and 2010. He was elected the MP for Esher and Walton in 2010.

Church of England Urged to Divest from Oil and Gas Companies at Synod

Read time: 7 mins
Campaigners demand Church of England divest from fossil fuels

The Church of England’s approach to climate action has come under the spotlight ahead of its general meeting as pressure mounts for it to divest from all fossil fuel companies.

The general Synod will vote on a motion to reaffirm the Church’s existing strategy to engage with oil and gas companies and urge them to take more ambitious climate action when it meets in York later this week.

But campaigners said the motion was not going far enough and tabled an amendment calling on the Church to threaten to divest from fossil fuel companies if they are not on “an unequivocal path” to align their business models to the Paris Agreement goals by 2020.

The call for the Church to strengthen its stance on fossil fuel investments comes after Pope Francis urged big oil including Exxonmobil, Eni, Shell and BP to make a faster transition to clean energy.

Oil Giants Shell and Eni Face Trial in Milan over Bribery Allegations in Biggest Corruption Case Facing Sector in Years

Read time: 4 mins
Shell truck

One of the biggest corruption cases faced by the oil industry in recent years is due to resume in Milan on Wednesday as two of the world’s biggest oil companies Royal Dutch Shell and Italian firm Eni are facing trial.

Prosecutors are bringing criminal charges against Shell and Eni executives over allegations of corruption regarding a $1.3 billion oil deal in Nigeria.

This is the first time an oil company as large as Shell or senior executives of a major oil company have ever stood trial for bribery offences.

The case, which has been repeatedly delayed, involves the 2011 purchase by Shell and Eni of Nigeria’s OPL 245 offshore oilfield — one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks.

The Russian Magnate, ‘Goldfinger’ and Ex-Army Chief Discussing Siberian Gold Mine Deals With Arron Banks

Read time: 7 mins
Arron Banks answering the fake new select committee

Millionaire businessman Arron Banks, a major donor of the Leave.EU Brexit campaign, has come under the spotlight again. This time, Russian gold is also involved.

Banks’ involvement in the Leave campaign has come under close scrutiny from MPs after leaked emails showed he held multiple meetings with Russian officials in the run-up to the EU referendum, including three with the Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko.

The documents, obtained by the Sunday Times, also showed Banks flew to Moscow in February 2016 which Banks admitted was to discuss a business deal concerning “six Russian gold mines in Siberia” owned by Russian magnate Siman Povarenkin.

Gold mining businessman Peter Hambro and former army chief Field Marshal Lord Guthrie are also reported to have been involved in the deal.

How FIFA Uses the World Cup as a Platform for Corporate Greenwash

Read time: 11 mins
Vladimir Putin holding FIFA Wold Cup trophy

FIFA has been accused of double standards after it joined a UN Climate Change initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during this year’s football World Cup while continuing to receive lucrative sponsorship deals from big polluters.

Shell Knew About Climate Migration 40 Years Ago. This is What it Told the Public

Read time: 8 mins
Shell on climate migration

Thirty years ago, oil company Shell was warned in private that its own products were responsible for climate change which in turn could lead to large scale climate migration.

Yet over the following decade, the company publicly justified the ongoing need for fossil fuels as the only realistic way to achieve sustainable development and lift vulnerable communities out of poverty.

Shell has repeatedly used the arguments of population growth and increasing energy demand at the heart of its public pronouncements about its role in driving economic and sustainable development.  

But Shell also knew that burning fossil fuels would “alter the environment in such a way” that it would affect parts of the world’s “habitability” and could lead to new migration patterns.

UK Worst of G7 Countries for ‘Hiding’ Fossil Fuel Subsidies — Report

Read time: 7 mins
Oil rig

The UK has been accused of trying to “fudge” how much money it spends on subsidising coal mining and fossil fuel use despite its pledge to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020. 

The country ranked first on its commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies but last on transparency in a new study led by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) which ranks each G7 country on ending support for the production and use of oil, gas and coal ahead of a group meeting which starts in Canada on Friday.

The UK does not provide national reports on its fiscal support for fossil fuel production and consumption and the government has repeatedly denied providing fossil fuel subsidies. However, the report states that the UK is providing subsidies in the form of tax breaks for oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and the decommissioning of oil. 

Researchers also argue that the UK is using public finance through the UK Export Finance, a government agency which underwrites loans to boost British companies’ exports, to support fossil fuel projects abroad - a finance stream they say the government should be counting as a subsidy.

UK Government Urged to Take Action Against London-Listed Vedanta Resources After Protesters Killed in India

Read time: 7 mins
Protesters outside the Indian High Commission in London

The UK Government has been urged to take action after a British mining and energy giant was accused of extensive human rights abuse and environmental damage in India.

Vedanta Resources, a British-registered company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), is under the spotlight after 13 protesters demanding the shutdown of India’s second largest copper plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu were shot dead by police. Dozens were injured.

The deadly mass protest is the latest major incident to engulf Vedanta, which has been accused of a series of human rights violations, with campaigners demanding the company be delisted from the LSE.

BP Accused of 'Corporate Evasion' over Response to Climate Change Questions at AGM

Read time: 7 mins
Protesters in front of BP AGM in Manchester

Climate change was the single biggest issue raised during oil giant BP’s annual general meeting, as both activists shareholders and institutional investors pushed the company to take more ambitious action to shift its business model away from fossil fuels.

Campaigners criticised BP senior executives for at times “dismissive” answers, which they say showed little willingness from the company to take into account some issues around emissions, social justice and human rights.