Chloe Farand

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'Shame on You': Campaigners Disrupt US Fossil Fuel Event Attended by Climate Science Deniers

Read time: 7 mins

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.

‘We Cannot Accept an Unjust Energy Transition’: Future of Coal Communities Becomes Crucial Issue at Climate Talks

Read time: 8 mins
Katowice coal museum

For the first time, the future of coal workers and communities across the world has become one of the most pressing issues of the global climate negotiations — infusing a sense of social reality within what is otherwise a very technical and political process.

We have been waiting for this for 30 years,” said Brian Kohler sustainability director for IndustriALL, a union representing 50 million workers across 140 countries.

In the corridors of the UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland, Kohler is “delighted” that the topic has found its way high on this year’s agenda. It couldn’t have come soon enough.

One of the first to have coined the term “just transition” in the 1990s, Kohler is well aware of challenges facing workers and communities relying on fossil fuels extraction for their livelihoods and the necessity to ensure the energy transition will leave no-one behind.

Heavy Police Presence Accompanies March for Climate at Katowice UN Talks

Read time: 5 mins
Riot police facing climate campaigner in Katowice

More than a thousand people marched amidst heavy police presence to demand negotiators and ministers attending the UN climate talks in the southern Polish city of Katowice take more ambitious action on climate change.

Campaigners and activists from around the world took part in the March for Climate, which marked the end of the first of two weeks of global climate negotiations in Katowice.

Protesters chanted “keep the coal in the hole”, urged negotiators to “wake-up”, and demanded “climate justice now” while waving colourful banners and flags. Some were also wearing pollution masks to highlight Katowice’s heavily polluted air due to local coal mining.

Polish Trade Union And Climate Science Denial Group Issue Statement Rejecting Scientific Consensus on Climate Change At COP24

Read time: 3 mins

A Polish trade union has issued a joint statement with a notorious American climate science denial group rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change.

The statement, signed by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute and the trade union Solidarity was released as UN climate talks took place in Katowice, the centre of Poland’s coal heartland region of Silesia.

The talks, known as COP24, are widely considered to be the most important climate meeting since the 2015 summit in Paris and will aim to finalise the rulebook to implement the Paris Agreement.

COP24: Climate Science Denial, Disinformation and Fake News at the UN Climate Talks

Read time: 8 mins
James Taylor of the Heartland Institute at COP24

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.

Polish Government Issues Terrorism Alert in Katowice Days Before Start of UN Climate Talks

Read time: 5 mins
Polish police

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.

Polish Coal Company Announced as First Sponsor of UN Climate Talks in Katowice

Read time: 4 mins
Bełchatów lignite coal mine, Poland

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”.

Extinction Rebellion: From the UK to Ghana and the US, Climate Activists Take Civil Disobedience World-Wide

Read time: 7 mins

More than 100 people were arrested during a week of action across the UK as protesters demanded the government treat the threats posed by climate change as a crisis and take drastic steps to cut emissions to net zero by 2025.

Thousands of people joined a mass protest that blocked roads and bridges in central London, with some gluing themselves to government buildings to draw attention to what they see as climate breakdown.

This was the birth of Extinction Rebellion, a movement that calls for mass economic disruption using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to halt the destruction of the planet and its wildlife and prevent catastrophic climate change.

Hard-Brexit Lobbyists Demand UK Roll-Back Environmental Standards to Strike Free Trade Deals with India, China and US

Read time: 6 mins
Brexit

Hardline Brexiters are calling on the UK government to cut EU environmental regulations to secure free-trade deals with the US, China and India after Brexit. Environmental NGOs said the plans were not credible if the UK was to fulfil its own environmental commitments, warning that the Brexit vote was not a mandate to lower standards.

The alternative Brexit plan, which is backed by former Brexit secretary David Davis and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and was published today by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), claims that if the UK continues to strengthen its regulatory environment, it will lead to “wealth destruction” and will “push people into poverty”.

The report slams the EU as saddling the UK with regulations that are “damaging to growth” and singles out environmental protection rules as one of the areas where EU regulation is “moving in an anti-competitive direction”.

Report: 90 Percent of World’s Largest 200 Industrial Firms Are Using Trade Associations to Oppose Climate Policy

Read time: 7 mins
Big companies are using trade associations to oppose climate action

Nearly all of the world’s largest 200 industrial companies have directly or indirectly opposed climate policy since the landmark Paris Agreement was signed three years ago, according to new research.  

Analysis by InfluenceMap, a UK-based think tank, examined the lobbying activities of 200 of the world’s biggest companies and 75 of the most powerful trade groups and the links between them since December 2015.

It found that 30 percent of all companies analysed have directly lobbied against climate policy in the last three years and that 90 percent of them retain membership to trade associations which have actively opposed climate policy around the world.  

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