DeSmog UK’s Best October Stories and Those You May Have Missed

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This month was not short of news. From the Conservative Party Conference to protests at climate denier Matt Ridley’s coal mine, we were there for it all.

October ended with a group of protesters gathering in Northumberland to send a message to Britain: it’s time for the end of coal.

The group, calling itself ‘Matt Ridley’s Conscience’, managed to shut the UK’s largest open-cast coal mine for a whole day. And boy did it get a lot of media coverage.

DeSmog UK got exclusive access to the action. You can check out our story of the events here along with our feature profile of the climate activists inside Matt Ridley’s Conscience.

Journalists from Vice and the Guardian were also there. The story was then covered in the Independent, ITV, the BBC, and BuzzFeed. The Price of Oil and the New Statesman also carried the story.

Even the Times, where Ridley has a weekly column, covered the action.

Local news was also on the scene, with stories in the Berwick Advertiser, Northumberland Gazette, and the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

Subsidy Criticism

Back in London, it seems like this month tensions started to rise within the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as it continued to try and defend its attack on renewable energy (meanwhile promoting ‘low carbon’ shale gas, North Sea oil and gas, and nuclear energy).

And it’s not just from green campaigners that DECC has been criticised. Former Tory Energy Minister Greg Barker called the cuts ‘catastrophic’ and top UN environmental scientist Jacqueline McGlade said the cuts send a ‘perverse’ signal ahead of the COP21 Paris climate conference next month.

Questions have also been raised as to just how much power the Treasury has over DECC. A DeSmog UK analysis shows that 10 percent of all external meetings held by Chancellor George Osborne’s Treasury between July 2014 and March 2015 were with oil and gas firms.

Tory Party Conference

Finally, earlier this month the Conservative Party Conference kicked off in Manchester. Sadly, perhaps unsurprisingly at this point, there was virtually no mention of climate change.

Energy and Climate Secretary Amber Rudd didn’t even mention the Paris climate conference in her speech.

Meanwhile, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom spoke at a side event where she talked candidly of the government’s priorities, saying renewable energy is for the future but right now we need more fossil fuels.

Two Other Stories You May Want to Check Out:

Revealed: Local Council Pension Funds Investing £53m in Fracking Companies

Climate Denying GWPF Wants ‘Objective Media Reporting’, Rejects UK Journalist From Annual Conference

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Kyla is a freelance writer and editor with work appearing in the New York Times, National Geographic, HuffPost, Mother Jones, and Outside. She is also a member of the Society for Environmental Journalists.

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