Institute Economic Affairs (IEA)

Mapped: A Who's Who of Brexit and Climate Science Denial

Read time: 20 mins

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.

Revealed: How the Tobacco and Fossil Fuel Industries Fund Disinformation Campaigns Around the World

Read time: 11 mins
fossil fuels and tobacco funding

Fossil fuel companies have a long history of adopting public relations strategies straight from the tobacco industry's playbook. But a new analysis shows the two industries’ relationship goes much deeper — right down to funding the same organisations to do their dirty work.

MIT Associate Professor David Hsu analyzed organisations in DeSmog’s disinformation database and the Guardian’s tobacco database and found 35 thinktanks based in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand that promote both the tobacco and fossil fuel industries’ interests.

'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.

Hard-Brexit Lobbyists Demand UK Roll-Back Environmental Standards to Strike Free Trade Deals with India, China and US

Read time: 6 mins
Brexit

Hardline Brexiters are calling on the UK government to cut EU environmental regulations to secure free-trade deals with the US, China and India after Brexit. Environmental NGOs said the plans were not credible if the UK was to fulfil its own environmental commitments, warning that the Brexit vote was not a mandate to lower standards.

The alternative Brexit plan, which is backed by former Brexit secretary David Davis and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and was published today by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), claims that if the UK continues to strengthen its regulatory environment, it will lead to “wealth destruction” and will “push people into poverty”.

The report slams the EU as saddling the UK with regulations that are “damaging to growth” and singles out environmental protection rules as one of the areas where EU regulation is “moving in an anti-competitive direction”.

Trans-Atlantic Network of Hard Brexit Climate Science Deniers Plotting ‘Shadow’ US-UK Trade Talks

Read time: 6 mins
Brexit trade talks

Representatives from thinktanks on both sides of the Atlantic heavily involved in lobbying for Brexit and spreading disinformation on climate change are set to meet to formulate their vision for a UK-US trade deal.

The “shadow trade talks” will be hosted by London’s IFT (formerly the Institute for Free Trade), led by Conservative MEP and hard Brexit advocate Daniel Hannan. The group plans to reveal its version of an “ideal” trade agreement later this year.

According to documents originally uncovered by Greenpeace’s investigative unit, UnEarthed, the coalition will seek to significantly weaken existing regulations. This would allow for controversial changes, such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-reared beef imports to be sold in the UK for the first time.

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