Christine Ottery

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Revealed: Government Failed to Consider Economic Impacts of Policies that Led to Huge Decline in Onshore Wind

Read time: 7 mins

The UK government did not assess the economic or environmental impacts of a policy change that led to a huge decline in onshore wind developments, DeSmog UK can reveal. The inevitable collapse in onshore wind energy production had a huge impact on jobs in the renewable energy sector and is regarded as a missed opportunity to reduce energy sector emissions.

Mapped: The UK Universities that have Pledged to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Read time: 5 mins
divestment protest

Are you a student thinking about where to go to university? Do you care about the environment, and companies whose activities are responsible for climate change?

There is a sense of momentum among the UK movement urging universities to divest from fossil fuels, and reinvest in low carbon technologies, which has been gaining traction since 2012.

Universities are major investors. Campaigners are trying to use this fact to encourage institutions to withdraw their support for the fossil fuel industry by selling their shares in dirty energy companies — also known as divestment.

‘It's a Very Male-Dominated Space’: Welcome to the Sexist World of Brexit and Climate Science Denial

Read time: 12 mins

Do Brexiters and climate science deniers have a problem with women?

DeSmog UK has previously drawn links between climate science denial outfits based out of offices at 55 Tufton St, just around the corner from parliament. And research has shown that the impacts of climate change and Brexit will both affect the UK’s women disproportionately.

Yet, there is only a small percentage of women in leadership roles at organisations pushing for Brexit and to dampen the UK’s climate commitments, a DeSmog UK investigation reveals — and women who do speak out against these agendas are often subjected to horrific sexist abuse.

Statoil Drops 'Oil' From its Name, But Not its Business Model

Read time: 4 mins
Statoil oil rig

Norwegian energy giant Statoil has announced it is rebranding to ‘Equinor’, a new name the firm states is inspired by “words like equal, equality and equilibrium”, as well as “Nor” for Norway.

But is this just an exercise in greenwashing? Just how fair and equitable is the company’s strategy?

After all, Statoil remains, at heart, a fossil fuel company.

What do Third Energy's Troubles Mean for UK Fracking?

Read time: 7 mins
Third Energy's site near Kirby Misperton, Yorkshire

This was meant to be the year of fracking’s big push in the UK. But the early months of 2018 have seen the industry beset by delays and controversy yet again.

The latest obstacle came in the form of the UK government’s reluctance to give the go ahead to fracking at a well near Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire without financial checks.

Business secretary Greg Clark decided to have Third Energy’s finances assessed before choosing whether or not to approve drilling at the site. The firm’s filing of its accounts was four months overdue before they were finally published.

The project was due to be at the vanguard of a fresh wave of fracking in the UK, which would have seen wells fracked for the first time since 2011.

So what’s the story behind Third Energy’s troubles, and what does it mean for the UK’s burgeoning fracking industry?

Who Said What on Climate and Energy at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Read time: 5 mins
World Economic Forum sign

The World Economic Forum in Davos is a very weird event, with billionaire business leaders, heads of state and select policy wonks all mingling at a swanky Swiss resort.

But the chat isn’t just focused on how one percent of the world’s population can keep 82 percent of the world’s wealth — glasses of prosecco are occasionally downed to discuss technology, trade deals and gender inequality, with a smattering of talk about climate change and the fossil fuel industry thrown in for good measure.

Shell is an Award-Winning Global Greenwasher Now

Read time: 4 mins
Make the Future screenshot

Oil giant Shell won the ‘Corporate Influencer’ gong at the 2017 World Media Awards.

The winning campaign, called “Best Day of My Life”, featured a music video featuring ‘energy innovations’ that Shell is supporting, and it went viral shortly after its release.

Shell were understandably smug about their award. Last autumn, the “Best Day of My Life” video went viral in the first week with over 20 million views and is now up to almost 50 million.

BP Supports International Women’s Day, Ignores Disproportional Impact of Climate Change on Women and Children

Read time: 4 mins
An oil worker

Oil giant BP is one of the corporate partners sponsoring this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March under the slogan “Be Bold for Change”.

In a promotional video for the day, BP says that being “bold for change” at its firm means “having the courage to change perceptions and the knowledge and expertise to change ideas. It’s having the shared dream of changing communities” – cue lots of shots of cute children from various ethnic backgrounds.

Just on the face of it this is already problematic. It’s all well and good for BP and a host of other companies to be addressing their gender balance issues – BP says it wants to ensure a quarter of its group leaders are women by 2020.

But BP’s use of the International Women’s day slogan gives it a whole new slant in the context of the impacts of climate change, transport emissions, and BP’s industrial activities around the world.

Europe Pushes Ahead with Controversial Canadian Trade Deal, Opens Door for Tar Sands

Read time: 4 mins
CETA protest

European lawmakers today voted to approve a controversial Canada-EU trade deal called CETA in a move that could increase tar sands imports into the EU.

The trade deal could also facilitate energy companies suing Member State governments when environmental policies threaten their profits.

The European Parliament vote was passed 408 to 254 following a heated debate in Strasbourg, as protests went on outside.

Documents Show How Government Climate Department Helped Oil and Gas Seismic Testing Permits Process

Read time: 7 mins
North sea oil rig

The recently culled Department of Energy and Climate Change was actively helping the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to achieve its seismic testing aims to increase oil extraction, according to new documents uncovered by DeSmog UK.

The cache of documents obtained through a freedom of information request reveal DECC – which has now been absorbed into the new Department Of Business, Energy and Industrial strategy – was actively involved in getting permits approved in time for seismic testing for oil and gas off the coast of Scotland and northeast England last autumn.

Seismic testing, which involves shooting air from an array of guns under water, is a way of surveying the geology of land under the sea and a precursor to oil exploration.