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.

New Emails Show Trump Admin Exploited Wildfires to Help Logging Industry

Read time: 4 mins
California Air National Guard clearing debris in Paradise after the deadly Camp Fire in 2018.

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Earlier this month we discussed how during Australia’s devastating fires, conservatives tried to claim that it was green party forest management policies that were to blame. That is, of course, wrong. It throws us back to 2018 in the U.S., when Secretary Ryan Zinke and others wrongly blamed environmentalists for California's wildfires and Trump wrongly blamed a lack of raking.

Now, new emails obtained by The Guardian show that messaging around forest management in 2018 was more than just a way to pin the blame on California and deny climate change. Like most other actions taken by this administration, it also helped prop up industry profits by embracing the industry’s propaganda.  

Groups Funded by Oil Industry Bash Plan to Reduce Northeast's Dependence on Oil

Read time: 9 mins
traffic on a highway

Last month New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced the state would not be participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional cap-and-trade program aimed at reducing carbon emissions from vehicles. The program is still in early stages of development, but groups tied to petroleum interests and conservative networks funded by the Koch empire are already fighting it with opposition campaigns.

Defying Climate Goals, New York Approves Rate Hike to Pay for New Natural Gas Infrastructure

Read time: 6 mins
New York City

One of the first tests of New York’s ambitious climate plan didn't go well, as the New York Public Service Commission voted on January 16 to raise electricity rates on customers by $1.2 billion over the next three years to help Consolidated Edison, or Con Ed, pay for new natural gas pipelines and infrastructure.

New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) targets 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To meet those goals, any new gas infrastructure constructed now and in the future would have to be retired well before the end of its useful life, becoming stranded assets.

Judges Point Dismissed Youth Climate Plaintiffs to Political System Corrupted by Fossil Fuel Cash

Read time: 9 mins
Youth climate justice protest in Minnesota

When a pair of Ninth Circuit Court judges ordered dismissal of a landmark youth climate change lawsuit last week, they concluded that the U.S. government may be harming the nation’s youth through its fossil fuel-based energy policy, but that courts cannot stop that harm. “Rather, the plaintiffs’ impressive case for redress must be presented to the political branches of government,” Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote in a split 2-1 decision dismissing Juliana v. United States.

The decision to dismiss Juliana without a trial raises troubling implications about the state of America’s constitutional democracy and the role that courts can play in harming, rather than protecting, the public interest, according to legal and scientific experts.


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