Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 10:22 • Justin Mikulka

In 1998, the U.S.'s largest oil and gas industry lobbying group, the American Petroleum Institute (API), was involved with a communications plan whose goal was promoting “uncertainties in climate science” among the American public. Over 20 years later, their communications plan looks a little different but still needs fact-checking. 

In September, API began running TV, billboard, and social media ads promoting natural gas as a climate solution. “Thanks to natural gas, the U.S. is leading the way in reducing emissions,” the ads claim, and “leading the world in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.” But is all of that true?

Monday, September 23, 2019 - 09:50 • Richard Collett...
Read time: 3 mins

US lobby groups representing the fossil fuel and automotive industries are world leaders when it comes to stalling government action on climate change, new research shows.

Of the top 10 trade associations considered to be the most effective at opposing climate-friendly policies globally, seven are based in Washington DC, according to a report published this week by lobbying watchdog InfluenceMap.

Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 02:00 • Guest
Read time: 9 mins

By Brendan Fitzgerald, CJRThis story originally appeared in Columbia Journalism Review (CJR). It is republished here as part of DeSmog's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Michael Mann's work as a press critic began in earnest a decade ago. Ahead of the 2009 international climate-change summit in Copenhagen, hackers stole email correspondence between Mann and other climate scientists from a computer server at the University of East Anglia. Climate-change deniers used portions of the emails, freed from context, to attack the credibility of Mann, whose “hockey stick” graph charting the rapid rise of the Earth’s temperature since industrialization would become an emblem of the climate fight. Coverage of what news outlets called “Climategate” saved space for Mann’s critics; such choices emphasized conflict out of all proportion with the scientific consensus on a warming planet. In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, his 2012 book, Mann called such false balance and sympathetic framing “a sweet victory for climate change deniers.” 

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 22:30 • Julie Dermansky
Read time: 3 mins

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, inspired millions of students worldwide to take part in climate strikes on Friday, September 20 to demand politicians take urgent steps to stop climate change. An estimated 250,000 strikers marched in New York City from Foley Square to Battery Park. 

The global climate strikes took place before the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City. The opening session of the summit is on September 21, with the fitting kickoff: Young People at the Frontlines. Greta Thunberg will be addressing the assembly on September 23.

Many of New York City’s student strikers expressed fear about their future when I asked them about their motivation for joining the strike.

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 05:51 • Sophie Yeo
Read time: 8 mins

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

Millions of children and adults are expected to strike across the globe today, inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s call for climate action. 

The strikes are happening ahead of the UN Climate Summit, which is taking place in New York on 23 September. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 18:36 • Ben Jervey
Read time: 17 mins

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

If it feels like the oil industry’s attacks on the burgeoning electric car market are well coordinated, that’s because they are. The industry is following a blueprint laid out decades ago, and refined ever since, by Koch network insiders.

In a revelatory article, published in Philanthropy Magazine in 1996, an executive vice president of Koch Industries named Richard Fink laid out a three-tiered integrated strategy for promoting libertarian ideals and free-market principles, and, in doing so, protecting the Kochs’ sprawling petrochemical refining and shipping businesses. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 17:00 • Justin Mikulka
Read time: 5 mins

In August, the French news service AFP revealed that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been drafting new climate action guidelines for businesses that raise concerns about promoting geoengineering as a climate solution. 

The ISO is an industry-driven  non-governmental organization that sets international standards for products, services, and systems, giving it a powerful voice in the global business community.

With these draft ISO guidelines, which DeSmog has obtained, the ISO appears poised to provide voluntary and market-based standards to address climate change that differ in a key way from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Climate Agreement. Instead of focusing on limiting global temperature rise, these guidelines argue for using radiative forcing, or the total excess heat warming Earth's atmosphere, as the metric.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 11:59 • Ben Jervey
Read time: 5 mins

The Trump administration is expected to formally announce today that it is rescinding California's authority to set greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles. The long-anticipated move is certain to set off a legal battle, as attorneys general in states impacted by the decision have promised to take legal action against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to defend their right to regulate emissions from personal vehicles.

Currently, 14 states and the District of Columbia, serving a population of more than 118 million, have adopted these more stringent tailpipe pollution standards in order to protect the public health of their communities. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 11:45 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

By , Grist. This story originally appeared in Grist. It is republished here as part of DeSmog's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Forget “climate change” and “global warming”: Environmental advocates are increasingly using phrases that emphasize the urgency of our planetary pickle, such as “climate crisis,” “climate emergency,” and “existential threat.”

But do-gooders aren’t the only ones with savvy messaging techniques. Over the years, fossil fuel companies have poured millions into sowing doubt about climate science and burnishing their public image. Now, fossil fuel companies are reckoning with a different communications challenge: convincing their investors that the future of oil and gas companies is bright … or at least bright enough.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 00:01 • Mat Hope
Read time: 10 mins

By Mat Hope, DeSmog, and Eduardo Robaina, La Marea/Climática. Lee en español en Climática.

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

In December 2015, European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker stood at a podium to hail the world’s first comprehensive agreement to take action on climate change, and told the world, “the Paris Agreement now reflects our ambition worldwide.” While the European Union’s leaders stand by that sentiment, a lot has changed since then.

The Union is facing a credibility crisis, threatened by Brexit and the rise of populism across the continent. Its leadership is facing calls to simultaneously increase its ambition to tackle climate change and cut the very regulations that would deliver reductions in globe-warming pollution.

Climate policy — a seemingly unlikely candidate for controversy back in 2015 — is suddenly at the heart of a European power struggle.

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