Chloe Farand

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Protesters Arrested Outside Parliament In 'Extinction Rebellion' Against Climate Inaction

Read time: 8 mins
Extinction Rebellion protest at parliament

Hundreds of people staged a peaceful sit-in and blocked the road in front of the UK Parliament in a symbolic act of rebellion against the UK government, accusing it of inaction in the face of climate breakdown and ecological crisis. The Metropolitan Police said 15 people have been arrested.

This was the first large scale public action of the environmental group Extinction Rebellion, which calls for mass and nonviolent civil disobedience as a means to put pressure on the government to take rapid and unprecedented action to tackle the climate crisis.

Who Decides When Fracking Starts and Stops After an 'Earthquake'?

Read time: 7 mins
Fracking traffic lights system

For the second time in four days, fracking company Cuadrilla halted and restarted its fracking activities at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire because of seismic activity, leading to many “earthquake” headlines in the media.

But who decides when fracking needs to stop and can be restarted? DeSmog UK unpacks the monitoring and real-time decision-making process behind fracking.

UK Told to Negotiate Unique 'Creative' Arrangement with EU on Climate and Energy Post Brexit

Read time: 6 mins
Brexit Banksy

The UK has to negotiate its own bespoke arrangement on climate change and energy with the European Union after Brexit because no existing models are adequate, a former government negotiator has said. The UK could also find itself continuing to work as part of the EU bloc after Brexit at the annual climate talks.

Those are the conclusions of Peter Betts, a former director for international climate and energy and negotiator at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Betts, who left his role in government last week, made the comments during a panel discussion organised by the environmental think tank Green Alliance titled, “UK climate diplomacy post-Brexit: Learning from Norway and Switzerland”.

Judicial Office Launches Investigation into Complaint over Fracking Judge with Alleged Oil and Gas Ties

Read time: 6 mins
Royal Courts of Justice

An investigation has been launched into allegations the judge who handed three fracking protesters “manifestly excessive” jail sentences has family ties to the oil and gas industry.

Judge Robert Altham sentenced Simon Blevins, Richard Roberts and Richard Loizou to up to 16 months in prison after they were convicted by a jury of causing a public nuisance offence. The protesters had their sentences quashed in an appeal case last week.  

Under the Judicial Code of Conduct, judges are expected to disclose personal relationships, social contacts and activities that could cause a bias or a conflict of interest and which put their impartiality into question.

Fracking Campaigners Freed As 'Manifestly Excessive' Jail Sentence Overturned

Read time: 5 mins

Three judges have quashed the prison sentence of the three anti-fracking protestors, ruling the sentence to be “manifestly excessive”. The court room erupted into applause, when the decision was announced.

Simon Blevins, Richard Roberts and Richard Loizou will walk out free of Preston prison in Lancashire this evening and go home to their families.

The appeal case was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday morning in a packed court room with Blevins, Roberts and Loizou appearing through a video link from Preston prison.

'They Are Not Criminals, They Are Heroes': Campaigners Gather at London Court for Appeal Against 'Excessive' Sentences of Anti-Fracking Protesters

Read time: 6 mins
Campaigners against fracking at Royal Courts of Justice, London

Environmental campaigners converged on the Royal Courts of Justice in support of an appeal against the “excessive” sentencing of three anti-fracking protestors, warning that the case could set “a dangerous precedent that punishes environmental protestors for their beliefs”.

Dozens of campaigners carrying the red rose of Lancashire gathered in front of the court on Wednesday morning to show their support for the appeal case and denounced the sentencing of the three men as “disproportionate”.

UK Government Is Planning to Support Multi-Billion Oil Refinery in Bahrain Days After Scientists Call for Urgent Climate Action

Read time: 5 mins

The UK Government is planning to support the expansion of a multi-billion pound oil refinery in Bahrain which could have “significant adverse environmental impacts” as part of efforts to boost British exports. 

The expansion and upgrade of the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) oil refinery complex in Sitra, east Bahrain, is expected to increase the production capacity from a maximum of 267,000 barrels per day to 380,000 barrels per day. The project is reported to cost well in excess of £5bn, according to Reuters.

The announcement comes two days after scientists from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report warning that the world has 12 years to make urgent and massive transformations across societies to avoid dangerous levels of global warming.

Oil and Money Conference: Fossil Fuel Executives Discuss How to Use PR to ‘Combat Growing Divestment Movement’

Read time: 7 mins
Protesters outside the Oil and Money conference in London

Climate campaigners have accused big oil and gas companies of trying to “subvert” the divestment movement as top executives gathered in London to discuss how to use PR “to combat” the growing campaign against fossil fuel investments.

The annual Oil and Money conference, which is taking place at the luxurious Intercontinental London Park Lane hotel between Mayfair and Knightsbridge this week, is a mainstay of the oil and gas industry calendar.

The three-day meeting — a “who’s who” of the global oil and gas industry — is co-hosted by the New York Times Company and Energy Intelligence and is attended by more than 500 senior level executives from the industry.

The overwhelmingly male line-up of speakers include some of the most influential CEOs in the oil and gas sector such as BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley, Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden and Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanné as well as senior executives from Chevron, ExxonMobil, Glencore and Saudi Aramco.

Vedanta Resources Delists from London Stock Exchange Months After 13 Shot Dead by Police at Copper Plant Protest in India

Read time: 5 mins
Protestors outside Vedanta's AGM

A London-based mining company accused of extensive human rights abuse and environmental damage in India has delisted from the London Stock Exchange amidst concerns it is seeking to escape public scrutiny.

Vedanta Resources Plc delisted from the London market on Monday amidst strong accusations by protesters that the company was “fleeing” the stock exchange without being held accountable by the regulatory authorities for “corporate massacres” .

Vedanta made headlines earlier this year 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 and dozens were injured.

'We Are the Mainstream': Inside the Conservatives' Alternative Brexit Conference Playing Host to Climate Science Deniers

Read time: 8 mins

In a packed lecture hall a few hundred metres away from the Conservative Party Conference, climate science denier and hard-Brexiter MP Owen Paterson told the cheering crowd: “We are the mainstream of the Conservative Party.”

As the rift between different factions of the Conservative Party deepens over Brexit, Paterson, a political advisor to the group Leave Means Leave, was preaching to an audience already on his side of the divide.

He was speaking at the Alternative Brexit Conference, a one-day event which ran parallel to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham on Monday and required no pass or accreditation to attend.