Sophie Yeo

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COP25: Anger Over Lack of Action for Vulnerable States as Climate Talks Conclude

Read time: 5 mins
COP25 climate talks

Climate activists have found plenty to be angry about at this year’s UN climate talks, which are scheduled to conclude in Madrid tonight. From youth groups to indigenous people, civil society has been more riled than in previous years, as the disconnect grows between momentum on the streets and the slow progress of the negotiations.

It’s like two parallel worlds,” says Sara Shaw, part of the Friends of the Earth International delegation at the meeting, known as COP25. “It’s so stark, the contrast between climate breakdown, the potential of massive expansion of fossil fuels, using markets to game the system, the access polluters have to these talks when civil society is really marginalised. I think it’s just coming together in a huge amount of frustration at the injustice of it all.”

COP25: Polluting Companies Blamed for Slow Progress at UN Climate Talks

Read time: 4 mins
climate strike placard

Big polluters are to blame for slow progress in the annual UN climate negotiations in Madrid, Spain, according to activists — with several companies sponsoring the talks in exchange for tax breaks.

Sponsors of the talks, known as COP25, include the electrical utilities company Iberdrola, which produced 24.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, and Endesa, which through its operations produced 61.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to analysis.

Interview: Climategate Felt Like a Disaster, But Climate Science Is Now Stronger Than Ever

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There was this incredible hullabaloo,” says Robert Brulle, recalling the moment that the Climategate scandal broke, 10 years ago today. He remembers thinking that it was all much ado about nothing: a coordinated PR campaign by climate deniers to discredit the science of global warming. 

Brulle is a professor of sociology and environmental science at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, who has researched the environmentalism movement for more than two decades, and has focused in recent years on the funding of climate denial. In some sense, his prediction would be proven correct. 

Why the Climategate Hack was More Than An Attack on Science

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Denied facts are still facts placard

From its tense soundtrack and flickering images of suspicious-looking wires, you could mistake the BBC’s latest documentary on climate change for some kind of cyber spy thriller. And that’s kind of what it is. 

The BBC documentary, Climategate: Science of a Scandal, begins with Michael Mann, a climatologist at Pennsylvania State University recounting how he opened a letter and unleashed wafts of white powder. “My first thought was: I may have been subject to a deadly substance, anthrax,” he says. “All because I decided to study applied math and physics, and move into climate science.”

Climate Strikers Demand Climate Justice On 'Historic' Day Of Protest

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. 

MEPs Decide not to Punish Exxon for Failure to Show at Climate Denial Hearing

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European Parliament

ExxonMobil will retain its ability to lobby the European Parliament after MEPs refused to take away their badges.

The ability of the oil major to meet with Brussels decisionmakers was under question after the company refused to attend a hearing on their history of climate denial, citing ongoing litigation in the US.

Party presidents within the European Parliament decided against banning ExxonMobil in a meeting last week. Instead, they pushed the decision to a smaller group of MEPs, known as ‘quaestors’, and to Klaus Welle, the Secretary General of the European Parliament.

'They Have Lied for Decades': European Parliament Scrutinise Exxon's Climate Science Denial

Read time: 7 mins
#ExxonKnew light sign over a highway

With millions of students taking to the streets and oil majors increasingly facing litigation, the fossil fuel industry is finally being held to account for its contribution to the climate crisis.

This week, the EU is taking this accountability up a notch, with ExxonMobil’s decades-long denial of climate science facing the scrutiny of MEPs and the public at a hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday.

During the two-hour session, scientists, campaigners and a historian will examine the history of climate denial and in particular the misinformation spread by Exxon, with MEPs able to ask questions about the role and behaviour of the oil major.

Rename Coal to Save It, Suggests UN Climate Talks Sponsor

Read time: 3 mins

JSW, the coal company sponsoring the UN climate negotiations in Poland, has a plan to revive the coal industry: rename coal.

Daniel Ozon, CEO of JSW, believes that coking coal has been tainted by association with thermal coal, and that investors are backing away as a result.

But he thinks a “fancy new name” for coking coal could help.

'Green is Great': Coal, Oil, and Greenwash at the UN Climate Talks

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Coal soap at Katowice pavilion at COP24

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.