New analysis shows that the science underpinning the global treaty aiming to stop average temperatures rising more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels urgently needs more research,...
The fossil fuel industry has spent many millions of dollars on confusing the public about climate change. But the role of vested interests in climate science denial is only half the picture.
Interest in this topic has spiked with the latest revelation regarding coalmining company Peabody Energy. After Peabody filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, documentation became available revealing the scope of Peabody’s funding to third parties. The list of funding recipients includes trade associations, lobby groups and climate-contrarian scientists.
This latest revelation is significant because in recent years, fossil fuel companies have become more careful to cover their tracks. An analysis by Robert Brulle found that from 2003 to 2010, organisations promoting climate misinformation received more than US$900 million of corporate funding per year.
Groups funded largely by oil companies have spent $2.7 million in California to defeat candidates for the state legislature who support strong climate action.
The groups are targeting lawmakers who supported S.B. 32 and S.B. 350, both pieces of legislation designed to rein in California’s greenhouse gas emissions and boost adoption of renewable energy technologies, E&E Publishing’s Greenwire reported.
S.B. 350, which was signed into law last year by Governor Jerry Brown, requires California to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and double the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 2030. S.B. 32, which did not pass, would have required the state to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
“Oil companies are trying to push back” against renewable energy and other efforts to decarbonize California’s economy, Mike Young, California League of Conservation Voter's associate director for campaigns and organizing, told Greenwire. “You're seeing an industry that is very concerned about losing its monopoly.”
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has never been shy about making statements that push the boundaries of what is acceptable in a civilized society, but his constant attacks on climate science have become yet another liability for the Republican candidate.
The Hill is reporting that environmental groups, including the NRDC and the Sierra Club, are hoping to rally voters concerned about the environment to vote for Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 election to help protect the environment.
From The Hill:
According to a new analysis by The Guardian, Peabody Energy, the U.S.’s largest coal mining company, has been funding dozens of different climate change-denying organizations for years.
The analysis is based on recently released court documents that came to light as a result of the company’s bankruptcy filings. In April, Peabody filed for bankruptcy as the global demand for coal continued to plummet.
DeSmog readers will recognize many names revealed to have received funding from Peabody, including climate deniers Willie Soon, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer and Richard Berman. All three of these men have gained notoriety from the fossil fuel industry for publishing works and promoting the idea that climate change is just part of natural “warming and cooling” cycles that the earth goes through.
Then there are the familiar front groups revealed: Americans for Prosperity, American Legislative Exchange Council, CFACT, Institute for Energy Research, State Policy Network, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more.
From The Guardian report:
“These groups collectively are the heart and soul of climate denial,” said Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigation Center, who has spent 20 years tracking funding for climate denial. “It’s the broadest list I have seen of one company funding so many nodes in the denial machine.”
California officials announced on Wednesday that they will seek the exemption of as many as 60 underground aquifers from federal protections so that the oil industry can use them to dispose of toxic oilfield wastewater.
Regulators with the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) said they will submit the necessary applications to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the next four months to exempt aquifers in Monterey, Ventura, Kern and other counties from federal laws such as the Safe Drinking Water Act.
In a statement issued in response to DOGGR’s plan, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which has put together an interactive map of the aquifers in question, noted that “Oil wastewater commonly contains cancer-causing benzene and other pollutants, according to [DOGGR]’s own testing. Flowback fluid coming out of fracked wells in California contains benzene at levels as high as 1,500 times the federal limits for drinking water, according to oil companies’ own tests.”
India has joined the US in pledging to ratify the Paris Agreement “as soon as possible this year” following talks on Tuesday in the White House between the countries’ leaders.
This comes as France is set become the first G7 and G20 nation to ratify the climate deal as the country’s senate votes today on a ratification bill.
Many hope these moves will encourage other rich nations to follow suit in order to bring the Paris Agreement into effect sooner than originally intended.
According to his biographical profile at the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin Cramer has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, and was conferred the degree of Doctor of Leadership, honoris causa, by the University of Mary on May 4, 2013. 
More than 8.1 million people are now employed by the renewable energy industry worldwide, an increase of five percent over last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The number of renewable energy jobs worldwide went up in 2015 while jobs in the broader energy sector fell. In the United States, for example, renewable energy jobs increased six percent, but employment in oil and gas fell 18 percent.
That’s perhaps not surprising, as renewable energy continues to break records. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), utility-scale electrical generation from renewable sources like solar and wind hit an all-time high of 16.89 percent of the country’s total electricity generation in the first quarter of 2016. During the same time period in 2015, renewable energy's share of net generation was just 14 percent. Distributed solar photovoltaic and wind energy have also continue to grow quickly, the EIA found.