Chloe Farand

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Denial and Dampening Ambition: Where do Europe's Right-Wing Populist Parties Stand on Climate Change?

Read time: 19 mins

With the European elections around the corner, populists and right-wing parties are gathering momentum and teaming-up into a pan-European alliance.

The alliance is being established around a common anti-immigration and eurosceptic ideology but nationalists parties have something else in common: opposition to climate action.

Research shows that dozens of candidates standing in the election are using climate science denial and anti-climate action rhetoric as a campaign strategy.

European Elections: Nine Climate Emergency Candidates That Want to Shake Up The Political System

Read time: 6 mins
Climate and Ecological Emergency Independents

Nine climate activists are standing as independents in the upcoming European elections in the name of climate and ecological emergency. None of them have stood in an election before, some have been arrested to raise awareness about the climate crisis, and all want to change the political system.

Inspired by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement and the climate school strikes, the Climate and Ecological Emergency Independents (CEEI) candidates have promised to break from traditional campaign tactics and take direct action, break the law, and engage in grassroots debates to get attention.

It’s absolutely zero to do with being elected and it’s all to do with the campaign,” said Andrew Medhurst, one of the seven candidates running in London, a former banker who worked in the City for more than 30 years before leaving his job to become a full-time activist.

'Climate Emergency': How Extinction Rebellion's Language of Urgency is Shaping the Political Agenda

Read time: 6 mins
Extinction Rebellion protest Oxford Circus

After weeks of mass demonstration, Extinction Rebellion’s demand that the government “tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency” has moved from the streets of London to the corridors of power.

The Labour Party is now pressing the Conservative government to declare a national climate emergency in a show of how far Extinction Rebellion’s asks have infiltrated mainstream politics.

And in the last week, both the Scottish and Welsh governments have declared climate emergencies, following the lead of dozens of councils across the country, hoping to trigger “a wave of action” commensurate with a crisis.

However, there is no single definition of what a climate emergency implies in practice nor is there a consensus on how fast action should be taken.

US Fracked Gas Imports to EU Could ‘Take World Far Beyond Safe Climate Limits’, Campaigners Warn

Read time: 2 mins
Port of Rotterdam

Environmental activists representing more than 200 organisations have called on the EU and the US to put an end to a booming transatlantic trade in fracked gas or face “taking the world far beyond safe climate limits”.

In an open letter to the EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, campaigners warn that the continued use and import of fracked gas “torpedoes critical climate targets and violates basic human rights”.

The statement comes after the US Department of Energy announced that Perry would be attending the first EU-US Energy Council High-Level Forum in Brussels on Thursday.

Newly Elected DR Congo Government Urged to End Oil Company's Contract to Drill in Protected Park

Read time: 4 mins
Bonobo

A part-UK owned company could be prevented from drilling in a World Heritage site in the Democratic Republic of Congo after questions were raised over the legality of its contract.

The Compagnie Miniere Congolaise SPRL, or CoMiCo, a company with an opaque offshore structure partly owned by a Guernsey-registered firm, was awarded the rights to an oil bloc that encroaches on the protected Salonga National Park, the world’s second largest tropical rainforest and home to a number of endangered species.

BP's First Global Advertising Campaign Since Deepwater Horizon Accused of Being 'Deceptive and Hypocritical'

Read time: 7 mins
Baby featured in a BP ad

Nearly a decade after being held responsible for the largest marine oil spill in history, BP’s first global advertising campaign in ten years has been denounced as “deceptive and hypocritical”.

The global advertising campaign called “we see possibilities everywhere” aims to showcase BP’s efforts to embrace clean energy and includes a series of short videos profiling the British oil giant’s plan to increase its energy production while lowering its emissions.

Meet John Bolton: The Mercer-Backed Trump Advisor Pushing for Post-Brexit Deregulation

Read time: 6 mins
John Bolton

A close advisor to Donald Trump who wants to slash environmental regulation and regards Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro as a “like-minded partner” is acting as the go-between the White House and hard-Brexiters at the top of the UK government.

John Bolton, President Trump’s national security advisor and a pro-guns, pro-war advocate, has been cheerleading for the UK to leave the EU, cut red-tape and strike a free trade deal with the US.

The former US ambassador to the UN, who has has long held anti-EU views, has been revealed to regularly speak on the phone with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling — two hard-Brexiters inside Theresa May’s cabinet.

Climate Change High on Agenda at Davos Summit Despite Privileged Access For Fossil Fuel Industry

Read time: 5 mins
World Economic Forum

As the world’s rich and powerful gather in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF), the threats to the global economy caused by environmental disasters and climate change are set to be high on the agenda.

Attended by David Attenborough, 15-year-old school strike activist Greta Thunberg and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, this year’s WEF conference will hear from influential voices which have repeatedly warned that time for world leaders to address climate change is running out.

But the fossil fuel industry continues to be a guest of honour at the meeting, with some of the world’s largest oil, gas and mining companies having a say in shaping the forum’s agenda and sitting on the conference’s front bench as “strategic partners”.

Nigel Lawson Steps Down as Chairman of Climate Science Denying Global Warming Policy Foundation

Read time: 3 mins
Nigel Lawson

Nigel Lawson, the founder of the climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation, has announced that he is stepping down as the group's chairman. 

Lawson, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher’s government, led the UK’s most prominent climate science denial campaign group for a decade.

He announced his resignation at a meeting of the GWPF’s board of trustees during which he said that since establishing the group in 2009, it had become “a prominent force in the climate policy debate” and that it was now “stronger than ever”.

Confidential Archive Documents Reveal UK Government's Efforts to Cement Image as ‘Climate Leader’ 25 Years Ago

Read time: 12 mins
John Major at the Rio Earth Summit

The UK government has been boasting about its global climate leadership both at home and on the world stage for more than 25 years. But, for the first time, a trove of confidential government documents recently made public by the National Archives reveals how the Conservative government of John Major worked internally to cement the image of the UK as a global climate leader.

The documents focus on the UK’s environmental policy in the years following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They reveal the Major government’s desire to be the first to  announce climate action and secure the UK’s position as a leader on the issue despite internal concerns that its climate plan was “too bland” and lacked ambition.

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