By Neta C. Crawford,...
A network of lobbyists, politicians and campaign groups is pushing the UK towards a hard-Brexit, with the aim of axing environmental protection in the name of free-market ideology.
Powerful vested interests are at play, with a network of decision-makers and companies that profit from climate inaction overlapping with a cabal of climate science deniers eager to limit global action to cut emissions.
Over the past four years, DeSmog has been tracking this network. We’ve now mapped over 2,000 connections between its actors operating at the highest levels of political and corporate life in the UK, US and Europe.
Sometimes there can be a feeling of déjà vu when reading the thousands of words dedicated to reporting Brexit every day. It seems to be the same people again and again putting forward the same arguments for the UK to leave the EU. And none of these arguments seem to favour climate action.
As DeSmog’s big new map shows, there’s a reason why: the actors pushing for a hard or no deal Brexit, and all the UK’s climate science deniers, well — they’re all connected.
In a fiery exchange at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told the government it was “running down the clock on our planet”.
She said “three current cabinet ministers have denied the scientific consensus on climate change” and pointed out that several of those vying to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister have “close links with organisations and individuals promoting climate denial.”
So, who was Long-Bailey talking about?
For two weeks in April, Extinction Rebellion grabbed the attention of the nation. Protestors blockaded large parts of central London, turned Waterloo Bridge into a community garden and camped out on Parliament Square where, watched over by Mahatma Gandi’s statue, some were arrested.
Getting arrested is one of the key tactics of the movement, which aims to use non-violent civil disobedience to draw political and public attention to climate change. But is it a good idea?
This is a guest post by Chris Garrard, Co-Director of Culture Unstained, a campaign group raising awareness of fossil fuel company sponsorship of the arts.
Last week wasn’t the best week for the reputation of oil giant BP. Greenpeace activists blockaded BP’s head office in London, shareholders took the company to task at its AGM in Aberdeen and protestors vocally declared the meeting “a crime scene“ as they were roughly dragged out by security. And on Friday, the biggest climate strike yet took place with young people leading protests in more than 1,400 cities across some 110 countries.
But if you caught the news last Thursday, there was a very different story being told about BP, with the oil giant being celebrated as a champion of the arts – with the company paying £1 million for a series of “BP Galleries” to be named after the firm as part of a major redevelopment of the Aberdeen Art Gallery.
This is a guest post by Zorka Milin, Senior Legal Advisor for Global Witness.
The world was recently stunned to see the highest ever recorded concentration of carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere: 415 parts per million, and rising. This figure, the highest in the millions of years that humans have existed, is unthinkably ominous to most of us. Yet it was no surprise for the company responsible for emitting a good share of that CO2: Exxon’s own scientists predicted this grim milestone with eerie accuracy way back in 1982.
If Exxon knew back then, what is the company doing to tackle the growing greenhouse gas emissions that are already causing a climate and extinction crisis? ExxonMobil investors, and the public, deserve to know. The company’s response has been to bury its head in the sand and continue with business as usual. But that is not cutting it, and this week’s annual general meeting (AGM) is a major test, with the company facing a push by some of its investors such as New York state pension fund to oust the entire board.
The Brexit Party has swept to victory in the UK’s European Parliament elections, meaning a new large group of climate science deniers will soon be walking the corridors of Brussels and Strasbourg.
At a packed meeting in Lochgelly on Friday, about 200 people, including disgruntled residents, community leaders and local politicians, voiced their anger at continued environmental breaches at a polluting plant that looms large over the area.
The meeting was called following the latest in a series of unplanned flaring incidents at ExxonMobil's Mossmorran ethylene plant. Local people had raised the alarm over huge plumes of black smoke, chemical-smelling fumes and a rumbling noise emanating from the site.