Mat Hope's blog

UK Climate Diplomacy Staff Cut Again as Post-Brexit Links to Trump and US Deniers Strengthen

Read time: 3 mins

With Donald Trump set to become the President of the United States, the international climate change political scenery has shifted.

The president-elect’s stance on “quitting” the Paris Agreement seems to have softened in recent days. But countries are still going to need strong diplomatic teams to shore-up the global commitment to tackling climate change, reiterated at the Marrakech climate talks last week.

So it’s notable that the UK’s climate diplomacy team appears to weakening.

For the second year in a row, the foreign office reduced the number of people working on climate change and energy, documents released by the government this week under a freedom of information request show.

The ‘Historical Jigsaw of Climate Deception’: Private Notes Show How Big Oil Spread Climate Science Denial

Read time: 6 mins
Exxon Knew billboard

We’ve all heard the dodgy arguments: ‘the science is uncertain’, ‘climate change is natural, not down to humans’, ‘science has been hijacked by politics’… Now a new cache of documents sheds light on the origins of the disinformation.  

In another verse of a now familiar refrain, a fossil fuel industry group in the 1990s publicly promoted arguments to undermine confidence in climate science while internally acknowledging their products were driving up temperatures.  

How Big Oil Tried to Capture the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Read time: 10 mins
IPCC synthesis report meeting GCC

A secretive fossil fuel lobby group undertook a decades-long campaign to undermine mainstream climate science while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and influence major scientific reports, a tranche of newly released documents shows.

The Global Climate Coalition (GCC) was a fossil-fuel backed lobby group active in the mid-90s and early 2000s. A collection of briefings, meeting minutes, notes, and correspondence from the group, released by the Climate Investigations Centre in collaboration with DeSmog and Climate Liability News, show how the GCC tried to manipulate the UN’s official scientific advisory body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Polly Higgins — The Lawyer Taking on Big Oil’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Read time: 7 mins
Polly Higgins

Polly Higgins is a woman on the hunt. And you get the sense that, after decades of working towards holding powerful polluters to account, her prey may finally be in sight.

When you're looking at any crime, you're looking at who are your suspects,” she tells me in a soft Scottish accent that belies the hard truths she regularly delivers. “Within a corporate context, you're looking at CEOs and directors. Within a state context, it is ministers and Heads of State.”

Police Delayed Review of Tactics for Controlling Fracking Protest as Conflict Escalated, Leaked Emails Show

Read time: 17 mins
Drawing of police guarding a fracking site

Police have been criticised for repeatedly delaying a review of official guidance for policing fracking protests after a cache of leaked correspondence highlighted ongoing problems with the consultation process. More than two years after the review was first promised, DeSmog and the Guardian can exclusively reveal it has now been delayed for a fifth time.

Dozens of leaked emails between the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Lead on Shale Gas and Oil Exploration — Lancashire Assistant Chief Constable Terry Woods — and Green MEP Keith Taylor show how the process has been repeatedly delayed, with the review’s remit changing without any prior warning.

And So Ends 30 Years of Climate Science Denial — Christopher Booker Has Written His Last Telegraph Column

Read time: 3 mins
Christopher Booker column

30 years after he first graced the Sunday Telegraph’s comment pages, Christopher Booker has at last put down his pen. With the death of his column goes one of the last remaining regular outlets for outright climate science denial in the UK’s mainstream press.

Of course, he wasn’t going to go quietly. In his final column, he runs down what he sees as his greatest achievements, which of course he says includes challenging mainstream climate science and the UK’s decarbonisation project.

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