Monday, December 10, 2018 - 07:38 • Chloe Farand

Campaigners disrupted a US event promoting “greener and cleaner” fossil fuel energy at the UN climate talks, calling it “a farce” that had no place within the global climate negotiations process.

Minutes after the start of the event on the fringe of the climate conference in Katowice, Poland, dozens of youth activists, indigenous campaigners, and community leaders burst out laughing and stood up in front of the panel chanting “keep it in the ground”.

A large banner with the message “keep it in the ground” was deployed in a way to hide the panel from the audience.

Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 01:56 • Sophie Yeo
Read time: 5 mins

We were told to meet by the glowing jellyfish. Pascoe Sabido was holding it aloft, its plastic tentacles tangling, as journalists and campaigners closed in around him. A campaigner for Corporate Europe Observatory, he had promised us a “Toxic Tour” of COP24, a chance to see the influence of energy companies lurking behind the green veneer of the countries gathered here to tackle climate change.

Except, in some cases, the veneer was wearing thin — or, in Poland’s case — had rubbed off entirely. The tour began next to the logos of the conference’s sponsors projected onto the wall. It’s currently advertising LOTOS Oil, a Polish company that operates mainly in Norway. Other sponsors include JSW, a coal company, and PZU, the largest insurer of the Polish coal industry.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 01:54 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 8 mins

In an age of “fake news” and disinformation, in which climate science deniers have been elected to the head of some of the world’s largest governments, the UN climate talks continue to act as a stage for those who wish to cast doubt on the climate crisis.

And in Katowice, Poland, where the UN climate talks — known as COP24 — are underway, it was no different. A small group of climate science deniers tried to grab attention by hosting an event on the fringe of the conference, claiming to “present the science that debunks UN alarmism”.

But this year, very few were paying attention.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 16:38 • Guest
Read time: 6 mins

By  

A deal in Poland that draws a hard line between developed and developing countries may be unacceptable to future administrations — Democratic or Republican.

UN climate talks this fortnight could determine whether a post-Trump U.S. president would rejoin the Paris Agreement, according to two former top Obama officials.

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 14:03 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 8 mins

Roughly four years ago, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) filed a federal application to build a 1,172 mile oil pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken shale across the U.S. to Illinois at a projected cost of $3.8 billion.

Before that application was filed, on September 30, 2014, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe met with ETP to express concerns about the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) and fears of water contamination. Though the company, now known as Energy Transfer, had re-routed a river crossing to protect the state capital of Bismarck against oil spills, it apparently turned a deaf ear to the Tribe’s objections.

Following that approach proved to be a very costly decision, a new analysis concludes, with ETP, banks, and investors taking billions in losses as a result.

Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 02:09 • Justin Mikulka
Read time: 6 mins

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently highlighted a little-discussed benefit of using renewables like wind and solar to produce electricity: Unlike most power sources, they require “almost no water.”

This is remarkable because thermoelectric power generation is the leading use of water in America. (That said, only three percent of power generation's 133 billion gallons a day of water is considered “consumptive use,” as the U.S. Geological Survey says, “meaning it is lost to evaporation or blowdown during generation.”)

Saturday, December 1, 2018 - 04:07 • David Suzuki
Read time: 4 mins

In a 1965 speech to members, American Petroleum Institute president Frank Ikard outlined the findings of a report by then-president Lyndon Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee, based in part on research the institute conducted in the 1950s.

The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world's peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out,” Ikard said, adding, “One of the most important predictions of the report is that carbon dioxide is being added to the earth’s atmosphere by the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas at such a rate that by the year 2000 the heat balance will be so modified as possibly to cause marked changes in climate beyond local or even national efforts.”

Many scientists were reaching similar conclusions, based on a body of evidence that had been growing at least since French mathematician Joseph Fourier described the greenhouse effect in 1824. In the 1950s, Russian climatologist Mikhail Budyko examined how feedback loops amplify human influences on the climate. He published two books, in 1961 and 1962, warning that growing energy use will warm the planet and cause Arctic ice to disappear, creating feedback cycles that would accelerate warming.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 06:13 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 5 mins

The Polish government has implemented a terrorism alert in the province where the annual UN climate talks are about to start.

Climate campaigners are warning of a “tense atmosphere” in and around the city of Katowice in southern Poland, where the global climate negotiations, known as COP24, are due to kick off on Monday.

Katowice, a city of around 300,000 people — and the smallest city to host the UN climate talks yet — is about to welcome nearly 30,000 people for the climate conference, including heads of state, government representatives and UN officials.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 10:14 • John Mashey
Read time: 8 mins

Lawyer David Schnare has made a career of suing and harassing climate scientists, abusing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to demand masses of scientists’ emails and wasting people’s time.

Much of this work has been executed via a dark money-funded 501(c)(3) “public charity” called the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (EELI), where he was General Counsel among other roles. 

Schnare’s work at EELI was often in conjunction with another shadowy group he founded, the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC), which he co-founded in 2011 with long-time associate Chris Horner. These two groups dispute the scientific reality of climate change, and have made a business of targeting climate scientists with invasive and harassing lawsuits.

FMELC recently imploded in spectacular fashion. Embroiled in multiple lawsuits and mired in infighting, the operation and legality of the “public charity” FMELC have been in heated dispute.

Recently, Schnare was ordered to disgorge $630,000 from FMELC, whose bank account he is alleged to have used as his own personal bank.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 09:56 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 4 mins

One of Poland’s leading coal companies has become the first official sponsor of the UN climate talks, which start in the southern city of Katowice next week.

Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa (JSW), a majority state-owned corporation and the European Union's largest producer of high-quality coking coal, has announced the partnership with COP24 in a statement on its website.

The Polish Environment minister later announced that several other coal-sector companies had been chosen to sponsor this year's climate talks. 

JSW said the partnership would guarantee “the company’s active participation in the event and the possibility of promoting pro-ecological changes in the mining sector”.

Pages