David Cameron

Cameron's Climate Call KO'd by Expert James Hansen

BY BRENDAN MONTAGUE AND KYLA MANDEL IN PARIS

David Cameron flew into Paris to warn negotiators at the COP21 talks that politicians will be betraying future generations unless they deal with climate change.

But the prime minister’s emotional appeal was swiftly undermined when Dr James Hansen, the grandfather of climate science, said the UNFCCC was discussing measures that are “half arsed, half baked” and we are therefore “screwing the next generation.”

Hansen was as far back as 1988 the first to warn world leaders that global climate change was already taking place, and could soon result in catastrophic floods, drought, sea-level rise and extinctions.

Cameron Commits Complete Climate COP Out

BY BRENDAN MONTAGUE AND KYLA MANDEL IN PARIS

David Cameron blustered through his three minute speech before 146 fellow world leaders in Paris tonight for the COP21 negotiations by imagining future generations asking “what was so difficult” about preventing catastrophic climate change.

The prime minister employed rhetorical dexterity to avoid any firm commitments on behalf of the UK - avoiding any mention of carbon capture and storage, solar and wind energy or the cuts to subsidies his government has inflicted over the coming months.

He said: “Let's just imagine for a moment: what we would have to say to our grand children if we failed? We’d have to say, 'it was all too difficult'. They’d reply, 'what was it that was so difficult when the world was in peril?'”

Obama Bid To Secure Climate Legacy at Paris COP21

BY KYLA MANDEL AND BRENDAN MONTAGUE IN PARIS

Barack Obama knows COP21 is his legacy moment. His presidency has been book-ended by the two most critical international climate summits – the disastrous Copenhagen and now the hope-filled Paris.

The American president joined 150 world leaders for the opening ceremony on the first day of the UN climate conference in Paris where thousands of delegates hope to agree legally binding international agreements to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Obama went over his allotted three minutes to tell the world future generations would suffer the worst impacts of climate unless the current generation acts. “I believe in the words of Martin Luther King that there is such a thing as being too late. And when it comes to climate change that hour is almost upon us,” he said. 

Five Things You Should Know About David Cameron’s New Environment Policy Advisor

A former consultant to major oil and gas companies has been appointed as David Cameron’s top advisor on energy and environment policy just 10 weeks before the prime minister is set to attend the UN climate change conference in Paris in December.

Stephen Heidari-Robinson will be Cameron’s lead environment advisor and liaise with senior ministers across Whitehall. The only problem is he appears not to have any experience in environment or climate change policy.

Up until now, Heidari-Robinson was vice president for the oilfield services company Schlumberger Business Consulting's UK office where he advised companies including BP, Shell and Chevron.

Government Keeps Climate Cards Close to its Chest

It’s been four months since Amber Rudd was made head of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and there are just three months before the Paris climate conference. So, what do we know about the UK’s contribution to international climate change negotiations? Turns out, not much.

According to the (very limited) information released to DeSmog UK by DECC under a Freedom of Information request, Rudd has met with international counterparts five times since May 2015, in Berlin, Luxembourg and Beijing, to discuss the COP21 climate targets.

And, well, that’s about it. The department acknowledged that they hold briefing materials that were provided to the Secretary of State ahead of these meetings but have withheld all of these.

Government Renewable Energy Subsidy Cuts Leave Industry ‘in Limbo’ and Send ‘Worrying Signal’ About UK Climate Commitment

The government’s cuts to renewable energy subsidies will leave the industry “in limbo” and send a “worrying signal” about the UK’s commitment to tackling climate change ahead of the Paris climate conference, warns Angus Macneil, chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has seen an intense backlash from industry, analysts, and politicians as it works to cut the “green crap” in what it claims to be an effort to keep down household bills – the latest being yesterday’s announcement by Amber Rudd, head of DECC, to cut solar subsidies.

Reacting to the news, Macneil said: “The measures announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change today raise more alarming questions for investors in low carbon, renewable technologies who are already struggling to finance projects after a series of sudden policy changes.”

How American Tea Partiers, Big Oil, and the Kochs Used Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth as Target Practice

DeSmog UK’s epic history series continues with a look at how Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth became target practice for Koch think tanks and the Tea Party caucus in the Republican Party.

There appeared to be a new international bipartisanship on the issue of climate change when, during his 2006 campaign, Conservative leader David Cameron emphatically called on the public to watch American Democrat Al Gore's climate change documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

But the highly-influential tribune for climate policy would soon receive heavy criticism from Big Oil, Koch think tanks and American Tea Partiers.

Steve Hilton Masterminded Cameron's Climate Crusade - But Was it Just Greenwash?

The International Policy Network was one of the UK’s most prominent climate-denying think tanks but in 2011 it closed its doors as science triumphed over ideology. The DeSmog UK history series continues.

The International Policy Network (IPN) was an offspring of Antony Fisher’s free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), and its board was composed of Fisher’s two children, Linda Whetstone and Michael Fisher.

But Whetstone’s son-in-law, Steve Hilton, would by happenstance turn out to be the architect of the IEA's greatest woes. In 2011, the think tank closed its doors, apparently due to an internal battle where science finally overwhelmed both ideology and the lure of dirty oil funding. 

How David Cameron Beat Out a Climate Denier for Tory Party Leadership in 2005

In this DeSmog UK’s epic history post we take a look at how David Cameron’s rhetorical flourish beat down climate denier David Davis to win the Conservative Party leadership.

David Davis was among the few fantastically sceptic Conservative MPs and also one of the closest to the free-market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) when, in 2005, he stood for leader of the party.

The then-shadow home secretary inspired hopes that the glory days of the Thatcher era were about to return to the crumbling Westminster offices of the IEA.

Tories Go It Alone On Shale Gas As Opposition Calls For Fracking Ban

Could the Conservative Party be the last man standing when it comes to promoting fracking in the UK? This week, Chancellor George Osborne reaffirmed the party’s pro-shale agenda, urging Britain not to “turn its back” on shale gas and to “get on with” fracking.

Osborne’s statement during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions' comes a week ahead of a crucial vote by councillors in Lancashire on whether to allow Cuadrilla to frack for the first time in the UK since 2011.

But the opinion amongst the opposition parties appears to be shifting, as Tim Farron and Andy Burnham – both favoured to win leadership of the Liberal Democrats and Labour, respectively – have called for shale gas drilling to be stopped.

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