COP21, Coal and Climate Deniers – DeSmog UK’s December Recap Has it All

COP21, Coal and Climate Deniers – DeSmog UK’s December Recap Has it All
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Most of our December was spent reporting on the unprecedented global climate deal agreed in Paris after decades of UN climate summits.

Does the deal contain everything everyone wants? No. Will people still suffer from climate-related catastrophes? Yes.

But at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Paris Climate Talks

The opening of the Paris climate summit saw David Cameron speak on climate change after months of silence on the issue.

Then, as negotiations settled in we covered topics ranging from loss and damage, the high ambition coalition, and the 1.5C target. We also took a look at one major corporate sponsor energy giant, Engie, and asked how green are the COP21 sponsors really?

Climate deniers also made an appearance in Paris. The Heartland Institute held yet another sparsely attended press conference (which it turns out was not actually open to the press – at least not those who they don’t like).

Later in the evening they held a very bizarre film premiere for Marc Morano’s Climate Hustle. You can read all about the surreal scene here.

In the end though history was made as the world signed up to the Paris Agreement. And what message did this send to fossil fuel investors? “Get out now… There is no future in fossil fuels.”

Climate Deniers Investigated

As the Paris talks were rolling on a Greenpeace investigation revealed that some of the world’s most vocal climate science denial groups were willing to accept cash from fossil fuel interests in return for writing articles and reports that reject the impacts of greenhouses gases.

One of these was Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). DeSmog UK then revealed that the charity commission has confirmed there is an open inquiry going on into the GWPF.

This story has since made headlines throughout Britain including in the Independent  (here and here) and Open Democracy.

The ‘dollars-for-denial’ scandal has now also roped in climate ‘lukewarmist’ Matt Ridley, who has written several reports for the GWPF.

Meanwhile in Britain…

Fracking for shale gas will now be allowed below national parks and other protected sites, including groundwater protection zones. This comes after the government agreed less than a year ago to an “outright ban” on fracking in these areas.

And remember the coal protesters who shut down Matt Ridley’s Shotton surface mine?

Well it turns out their actions of shutting down the mine for a day resulted in an estimated loss of £100,000 for the Banks Mining operating company.

If you haven’t already, do take a minute to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our newsletter, so that you can stay up to speed on all of DeSmog UK’s activities.

COP21, Coal and Climate Deniers – DeSmog UK’s December Recap Has it All
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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