Rachel Sherrington

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From COVID-19 Deniers to Climate Activists — Looking Back at the Faces of 2020

Read time: 8 mins
Climate activism in London

Expectations for 2020 were quickly thrown up in the air as the coronavirus spread rapidly around the world.

The annual United Nations climate conference, COP26, was cancelled as world leaders struggled to contain infections and in many nations wide-ranging restrictions to tackle the virus forced profound changes to citizens’ lives – travel drew to a halt and many began to live more locally. 

Meet The Anti-Regulation Groups Influencing Post-Brexit Trade Policy

Read time: 15 mins
Brexit trade

A handful of prominent individuals from anti-regulation thinktanks with close ties to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss have been appointed to top government advisory boards guiding the future of UK post-Brexit trade policy.

Individuals from four groups associated with the 55 Tufton Street network of free-market, pro-Brexit groups have been named as advisors since April 2019, DeSmog has found.

These Agribusiness Groups With Ties to Climate Denial are Trying to Influence the US-UK Trade Deal

Read time: 17 mins
US UK trade deals and agribusiness interests

This story is a part of Covering Climate Now’s week of coverage focused on stories with the theme of 'climate politics'. Covering Climate Now is a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story. 

The ongoing US-UK trade talks have been seen by some lobby groups as an opportunity to strip back environmental and food safety regulations to allow them to sell products – pesticides, hormone-fed meat, genetically modified crops (GMOs), and chemicals – that have been previously banned under EU law. The groups represent industries worth billions of dollars, and are supported by some of the world’s largest polluters. 

They are also backed by thinktanks and campaign groups with histories of obstructing climate action and ties to funders of climate science denial, and are affiliated with UK organisations closely connected to the UK's Department for International Trade, DeSmog can reveal.

Government Appoints Lobbyists with US Agribusiness Ties to Trade and Agriculture Commission

Read time: 5 mins

A commission set up to advise the government on maintaining “animal welfare and environmental standards” in post-Brexit trade deals includes two leading figures from a pro-deregulation thinktank known to offer “intimate” access to UK ministers for US agribusinesses. 

Shanker Singham and Sir Lockwood Smith from the libertarian Institute of Economic Affairs have been named members of the commission. Singham’s association with the IEA was initially listed on the government website before being removed, with Smith’s affiliation not listed at all.