Kyla Mandel

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Kyla Mandel is Editor of DeSmog UK.

Kyla began working with DeSmog UK as deputy editor in November 2014 shortly after the project launched. During this time, she has broken numerous stories on energy policy, including one on the Koch Brothers’ European lobbying efforts. In March 2015 she was appointed DeSmog UK’s Editor.

She has also covered international climate science denial efforts in Rome and Washington D.C., and joined DeSmog’s reporting team in December 2015 at the Paris COP21 climate conference.

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Kyla has been living in London for the past several years working for titles such as Green Futures Magazine, EnergyDesk and most recently The ENDS Report. Her work has also appeared on Forbes Online and The Guardian’s Sustainable Business channel. Kyla is currently researching climate refugees at Columbia University’s graduate journalism school.

Past research has also involved extensive content analysis examining British media coverage on shale gas exploration and investigating events involving police brutality on the McGill University campus in Montreal during the 2012 province-wide student tuition protests.

Kyla moved to the UK to pursue a master’s in journalism at the London College of Communication.  Bilingual in French and English, she has also lived in the US and Germany. Combined with a BA joint-honours degree in history, political science and environmental studies from McGill, she has a strong grasp on the dynamics between environmental issues and international politics.

What does ‘Clean Coal’ CCS Failure in U.S. Mean for Meeting Our 2°C Climate Goals?

Kemper coal project

The concept of “clean coal” was dealt a significant blow as Southern Company announced last week that it was suspending its coal gasification project in Mississippi.

The project was meant to be America’s flagship example for commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. It was going to be a way to keep burning coal, except without the polluting carbon dioxide emissions.

The failure of this “clean coal” experiment has impacts beyond the US though as the world continues to wait for CCS technology to take off at scale.

Heritage Foundation Registers as EU Lobbyists for Just One Month

EU flags

Washington DC-based think tank the Heritage Foundation briefly registered as lobbyists in Brussels, DeSmog UK has learned.

A little noticed entry to the EU Transparency Register on 18 April 2017 showed the climate science denying neoconservative think tank listed as an official EU registrant. However, one month later they were removed from the registry due to “data inconsistencies”.

According to EU rules, anyone who wishes to have a meeting with members of the EU Parliament or Commission must be listed on the EU Transparency Register including providing details about how much money the group spends on lobbying and number of lobbyists.

UK Foreign Office Had Contact with Myron Ebell During Trump's Transition

Myron Ebell

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was in touch with climate science denier Myron Ebell during his time as head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team, DeSmog UK can confirm.

According to a Freedom of Information Request, the FCO corresponded with Ebell in his role under President Trump prior to Ebell's visit to London in January.

However, the content of their discussions remains unknown. The FCO Climate Diplomacy Team refused to release any details after several requests for clarification and further information about their discussions.

Have Oil Majors Changed Their Tune on Climate Change?

Oil rig by wind turbines

This is the biggest challenge as we have at the moment as a company,” Ben van Beurden, chief executive of oil giant Shell, said recently. “The fact that societal acceptance of the energy system as we have it is just disappearing.”

Speaking at the annual CERAWeek energy conference in Houston on March 9, van Beurden described the growing tensions between his industry, which has created our fossil fuel dependent energy system, and the public, which is demanding a switch to clean energy: “I do think trust has been eroded to the point where it starts to become a serious issue for our long-term future.”

The world’s largest oil companies are increasingly faced with public pressure to do something about their impact on climate change. And increasingly we’re seeing their chief executives responding. The question is though, how much is for real and what's just greenwash?

UK Banks Continue to Bankroll Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, as Green Party Calls for 'Immediate' Divestment

Dakota Access Pipeline – Oceti Sakowin

The Green Party has issued a letter to the chief executives of all UK banks currently financing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline asking them to “immediately suspend all credit lines”.

Despite previous calls for British institutions to divest from the polluting project, financial data reveals Barclays and HSBC continue to bankroll the companies constructing the pipeline.

Signed by party co-leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley and four other party members, the Green Party letter calls on Barclays and HSBC to stop funding the U.S. pipeline project due to its impact on the climate and indigenous communities.

Calling the pipeline a “barrier to climate safety,” they write: “The Dakota Access Pipeline is a major fossil fuel infrastructure project, and thus represents exactly the kind of project that should no longer receive the support of those with a serious commitment to tackling the climate crisis.”

A New Special Relationship for America and Britain Emerges with Climate Science Deniers Linked to Trump and Brexit

US-UK Climate Science Denier Network

On Friday, 20 January, fossil fuel lobbyists and climate science deniers from both sides of the Atlantic will step out of the shadows and into the White House as Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

DeSmog UK has mapped this new US-UK climate science denier network, held together in large part by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, to shed light on this growing group of influencers. 

Since November, the president-elect has been gathering his team together; the men that will form the top positions of influence and decision making within his government.

Rather than ‘draining the swamp’, Trump has chosen to surround himself with the same actors who have long been pushing climate misinformation and lobbying against environmental protection.

Front and centre are individuals linked to well known funders of climate science denial, the Kochs, the Mercers, and the Heritage Foundation. And as our new map shows, this isn’t limited to the United States.

Revealed: Liam Fox’s Post-Brexit Trade Talks with US Business Lobby and Climate Denying Think Tank the Heritage Foundation

Liam Fox

During his first trip to the United States, less than two weeks after being appointed International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox took the opportunity to meet with the climate science denying neoconservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

The details of Fox’s post-Brexit three-day tour of America in July have only just been released to DeSmog UK under a freedom of information request.  They show Fox also met with White House representatives, pro-business lobby group the US Chamber of Commerce, and some of its corporate members.

The documents reveal a close relationship between Fox and the Heritage Foundation, as well as the desire for a bilateral trade deal between the two countries. They also suggest concerns over the current “political discourse” in the US could hinder the deal, however.

Eurosceptics Screen 'Climate Hustle' Denial Film to Mostly Empty Room in Brussels Parliament

Climate Hustle screening

This week, the creators of the American climate science denial film, Climate Hustle, flew to Brussels to attend a screening in the EU Parliament.

But the event, organised by the Eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFDD) and UKIP MEP Roger Helmer, may not have been the politically tide-turning moment envisioned by its narrator, Marc Morano, executive director and chief correspondent of ClimateDepot run by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.

With around 30 people in attendance on 19 October, Morano spoke to a room where about 60 percent of the chairs were left empty. Answering audience questions Morano delivered classic climate denial tropes, including arguing that sea level rise and extreme events are not anything to worry about and that humans are not to blame.

Far-Right Brexit Climate Denial Network Grows as ‘Texit’ Campaigners Fly to Europe to Offer Advice

Christopher Monckton Texit

Imagine this scenario: a group of Texas secessionists travel to Europe to spread the word of ‘Texit’.

This is what happened last week. The Texas Nationalist Movement visited England and France to “offer advice and perspective on the right of self-determination and peaceful independence”.

As the group’s website reads: “TNM greatly appreciates that our opinion is valued by our liberty-minded friends in Europe.”

Spurred on by the successful Brexit vote this past summer, the Texit movement — championed by climate science denier Christopher Monckton — now hopes to inspire and advise similar movements in France, Greece, and Spain.

This cross-Atlantic cooperation highlights the growing network between British and American euro-climate sceptics.

World’s Oldest Scientific Academy, the Royal Society, to Allow Climate Denying GWPF Lecture to Go Ahead Despite Internal Opposition

The Royal Society

The Royal Society will be going ahead with the controversial Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) annual lecture next week despite internal pressure to cancel the event, DeSmog UK has learned.

The decision to allow the lecture to go forward was made during the Royal Society’s governing council meeting last week where several fellows and associates of the society raised concern over the climate science denying GWPF’s 17 October event.

As DeSmog UK understands, there was a strong sense among many at the meeting that the Royal Society – the world’s oldest scientific academy, founded in 1660 – had made a mistake in accepting the booking for the GWPF’s ‘by invitation only’ lecture to be delivered by Matt Ridley.

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