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Comment: We Need to Galvanize a Mass Youth Movement to Combat Decades of Climate Inaction

Read time: 4 mins
Climate campaigners at the UN climate talks in Marrakesh in 2016

By Jake Woodier, a climate and social activist with the UK Youth Climate Coalition

We may look back at 2018 as the defining year that awoke many in the western world to the grave reality of the impact we’re having on the planet.

Record-breaking temperatures, increasing frequency of extreme weather events, droughts, floods, widespread crop failure and the fastest mass-extinction event in history. These are just a few of the myriad and complex effects of climate change happening right now. What’s more, rampant fossil fuel extraction, intensive animal agriculture, deforestation, and expansion of transport and aviation often go toward fueling Western lifestyles.

Open Letter: 75 Environmental Groups Call on Government to Abandon Drax Gas Plans

Read time: 6 mins

Environmentalists are urging the government to withhold support for what would be the UK’s largest gas plant.

A coalition of 75 groups has sent an open letter (published below) to the Planning Inspectorate and Energy Secretary Greg Clark, calling on the government to refuse to subsidise the plans.

Signatories include the Green Party, Friends of the Earth, and several Frack Free campaign groups.

Energy company Drax has submitted a planning application to replace its coal burning plants at a power station in Yorkshire with gas-fired units. The proposal was submitted after the government announced it would phase out all coal power generation by 2025. Drax is seeking government subsidy for the project. Today is the final day of consultation on the plans.

Comment: Why I Remain Optimistic about Stopping Earth Becoming a ‘Hothouse’

Read time: 4 mins

By Payal Parekh, Programme Director of campaign group

This summer, the world is experiencing devastating climate change impacts: record heat in Pakistan and India have caused 4,000 deaths, flooding in the Philippines due to torrential downpour has caused 54,000 people to evacuate from their homes.

And it is no longer just poor countries who have been experiencing the worst of climate change. In Japan and South Korea, the heatwave has killed 200 people. In Europe, record-breaking temperatures have destroyed farmers’ crops while the wildfires in Greece killed 92 people. Scientists have already said that climate change made this heatwave twice as likely.

Media reports about a recent scientific study painted a doomsday scenario for the planet, saying we are close to the tipping point of a “Hothouse Earth”, a point of no return where climate change will be uncontrollable.

[REDACTED] Government Hides Details of Minister's Meeting with Fracking Industry

Read time: 6 mins
A redacted document

By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop

Most of the notes about a recent meeting between a minister and the shale gas industry have been redacted “in the public interest” or because they contained confidential information, a government department has said.

Information about the meeting, first publicly referred to during a parliamentary debate, was released following a Freedom of Information request.

Government Drops Shale Gas Question from Survey After Fracking Opposition Consistently Outstrips Support

Read time: 4 mins

By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop

For the first time since 2013, a quarterly public attitudes survey for the government has not asked questions on whether people support or oppose fracking.

The latest findings, published this morning, cover only whether people were aware of the process.

Previously, 18 surveys for the Wave public attitudes tracker had asked whether people supported or opposed fracking for shale gas and by how much. It also asked why people supported or opposed.

Meet the Political Dynasty of Climate Science Deniers Threatening to Withdraw Brazil from the Paris Agreement

Read time: 5 mins
Jair Bolsonaro and Flavio Bolsonaro

By Megan Darby for Climate Home News

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is threatening to take Brazil out of the Paris Agreement if he wins the October election.

In an unpredictable race, the right-wing Bolsonaro is polling secondbehind Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the socialist former president. But “Lula” is in jail for corruption and likely to be disqualified by the courts, leaving a scattered field.

At his campaign launch last month and in subsequent interviews, Bolsonaro said he would join Donald Trump’s US and withdraw from the Paris pact.

Comment: The Fracked North has Already been Written Off as ‘Desolate’, Don’t let it Become Dehydrated Too

Read time: 3 mins

By John Hobson, chair of campaign group Defend Lytham

This year we have experienced the longest heat wave since 1976, and we learned this weekend that the North West of England is heading for a hosepipe ban in a couple of weeks. We also discovered recently that Cuadrilla has applied for the final consent from BEIS to start fracking.

For those of us who have been looking into the impacts of fracking over the years, the timing is striking.

Fracking is an extremely water-intensive process. So Cuadrilla could be set to frack it’s first well while the rest of us are looking at our yellow lawns and dirty cars.

Sick as a Dog: Fracking Protests and the Media Blame Game

Read time: 5 mins

By Andy Rowell, Open Democracy UK

North Yorkshire Police are coming under renewed pressure to answer questions over the apparently hasty, heavy-handed and heavily publicised arrest of two campaigners in January this year at the height of the protests against fracking firm Third Energy.

As the protests reached a peak at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, many people believed that fracking could be approved by the Government any day. To add to the heightened tensions, North Yorkshire Police issued a news article which stated that two men had been arrested on suspicion of poisoning a guard dog – potentially with “pellets” made from aniseed balls. The media were quick to pick up the press release leading to stories in the BBC, ITV; Daily Mail as well as local press outlets.

The media was quick to point the finger of blame at the anti-fracking campaigners: “Two men arrested on suspicion of poisoning a fracking site guard dog were environmental protesters”, revealed the Mail Online.

Shareholders Force Big Oil to Acknowledge Climate Risk — But Are Still Waiting for Action

Read time: 3 mins

By Megan Darby, Climate Home News

Oil companies are under more pressure than ever to reckon with their climate impact, this AGM season.

Supermajor Exxon Mobil has published its first assessment of what holding global warming to 2C means for its business, prompted by a shareholder revolt in 2017.

Shareholder activists have moved on to target second-tier companies, winning resolutions to make Kinder Morgan and Anadarko follow suit. Several firms pre-empted a vote by agreeing to their demands.

In Europe, where most oil majors have already produced 2C scenarios, the conversation is turning from disclosure to action.

Here's What's in the Government's New Air Pollution Plan

Read time: 5 mins

By Alastair Lewis and Sarah Moller, The Conversation

The UK government has published a new clean air strategy for consultation. The document sets out plans to tackle emissions from a range of sources, including agriculture, industry and even wood-burning stoves. It all adds up to a subtle but important shift in emphasis away from simply meeting air quality targets to also reducing wider impacts on health and the environment.