DECC

Peers Attack Government Climate Scientists at Taxpayers' Expense - Official Memo

Lord Lawson’s climate denying Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has been accused of wasting taxpayers’ money through the inappropriate use of parliamentary questions, internal government documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show.

Lord Donoughue (pictured), a Labour peer and member of the GWPF board of trustees, bombarded the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) with a total of 25 questions over 15 months relating to obscure climate models.

The climate denying member of the House of Lords was relying on statistical analysis from a statistician named Doug Keenan, who claims to have worked on Wall Street and the City of London, even though it appears he can only boast of “studying independently” since 1995.

Revealed: UK Government Lobbied Big Oil to be Green Gas Leaders – Shell, BP ‘Not So Keen’

Big Oil made headlines has announced plans to become Big Gas. Speaking at the industry-sponsored World Gas Conference in Paris, companies including Shell, Total, BG Group, BP, and Chevron all stressed “the vital role of natural gas” in helping tackle climate change, write Kyla Mandel and Brendan Montague.

However, as documents obtained by DeSmog UK in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request reveal, Shell and BP failed to join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Oil & Gas Methane Partnership – a UN-backed initiative to manage industry methane emissions – following lobbying by the UK Government for them to join as founding companies.

According to a 12 June 2014 briefing document drafted for then climate change minister Gregory Barker, ahead of a meeting with Shell executives, the government argued: “This Partnership provides industry with a good platform to demonstrate that gas is part of the low carbon solution, and to demonstrate their leadership to investors and consumers.”

What Does The Cabinet Re-Shuffle Mean for Energy and Climate?

This article by Christine Ottery has been cross-posted from Energydesk.

Sajid Javid, the newly appointed secretary of state for the department of Business Innovation and Skills, has accepted over £16,600-worth of conference expenses from a think tank that has received funding from Exxon Mobil and the Koch Brothers – according to an Energydesk analysis of the new government ministers involved in energy and climate decisions.

Amber Rudd and Andrea Leadsom, secretary of state and minister at DECC respectively, have also been involved in controversies over previous donations.

Meanwhile, the new head of the DCLG replacing the controversial Eric Pickles, Greg Clark had no registered donations and Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, under-secretary at DECC, has been involved in some minor political skirmishes.

Top Five UK Fracking Moments of 2014

DeSmog UK has compiled a list of the top 5 fracking moments of 2014 for our #FrackingFriday series – complete with controversial government reforms, industry blunders and the defining moments of a debate that has exacerbated the relationship between public and energy, government and industry, people and planet.

  1. Fracking Beneath Your Floor


In the heat of a scorching summer, the UK government confirmed reforms to the Infrastructure Bill that will now allow fracking companies to drill directly under people’s homes. This is despite 99% of the public opposing the changes

The amendments, which were introduced by Tory peer Baroness Kramer, were defined as an individual’s “right [to] use deep-level land in any way for the purposes of exploiting petroleum or deep geothermal energy.”

UK Energy Minister Calls for More Tar Sands, Fracking and Climate Action at Same Time

The UK and Canada must strengthen their energy relationship by increasing investment in tar sands and fracking, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) energy minister Matthew Hancock said at today’s Europe-Canada Energy Summit in London.

There remains great potential for deepening our energy relationship further, including delivering more British investment in Canada’s energy industry, or growing Canadian investment in the UK,” Hancock said.

We want to see more British companies active in the energy supply chain across Canada,” he said, repeatedly pointing to opportunities in Alberta’s tar sands and Western Canada’s shale gas reserves.

A “Dash For Gas” Will Threaten Renewable Energy Development And Climate Action: British MPs

A new report from Britain’s House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee warns the government that proposed energy reforms may have the perverse effect of encouraging companies to focus on building cheap gas power plants, limiting investments in renewable energy. As well, the Committee agreed with testimony from Friends of the Earth arguing that a “dash for gas” [80],  could prevent the country from reaching its climate action targets, especially since gas plants are expected to rely on unproven carbon capture and storage technology.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has said that £200 billion of new investment in energy infrastructure is needed by 2020 to meet rising demand and achieve renewable energy and climate change targets. First published in November 2009, and revised in October 2010, six draft National Policy Statements on energy (NPSs) laid out the importance of building and funding new electricity infrastructure, to include renewables, nuclear, fossil fuels and improved grid connections. The NPSs aim to increase confidence for investors and to speed up the planning process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

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