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A bottomland hardwood clearcut that Dogwood Alliance have linked to Enviva, the company that runs the Ahoskie pellet mill, which supplies the UK's Drax power station. Photo: Matt Adam Williams.

Dirtier than coal: burning forests for 'green' energy

Matt Williams

19th July 2016

The UK imports millions of tons of American wood pellets every year to be burned in power stations for 'climate friendly' electricity, writes Matt Williams. But his recent visit to the southern US showed him that this practice is devastating beautiful, natural forests rich in wildlife - while the UK government's own research shows that it's worse for the climate than the coal it replaces. more...
'Safe fracking is a bad fairy tale' - banner at the community blockade in Balcombe, Tuesday 6th August 2013. Photo: Push Europe via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking not compatible with UK climate targets, say CCC

Victoria Seabrook

8th July 2016

A long-awaited report by the UK Climate Change Committee has found that fracking could produce a 'substantial' emissions footprint if left unregulated, writes Victoria Seabrook, and force the government into more rapid emissions cuts in other areas of the economy to compensate. more...
Even though most of China's industrial production is exported to the UK and other countries, we take no responsibility for the emissions in its power plants and factories, like this one in Chonqing. Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

UK's latest 'carbon budget' fails the Paris Agreement test

Kate Scott & Marco Sakai

5th July 2016

The UK's latest carbon budget was well-received, even by environmentalists, write Kate Scott & Marco Sakai. But that's only because they didn't look hard enough. The Paris Agreement hugely elevated ambition to achieve even a 2C temperature rise limit - and the UK's effort is nowhere near the mark. more...
How committed is Tory Party hopeful Andrea Leadsom MP to climate change action? That much. Photo: Policy Exchange via Flickr (CC BY).

The UK can still lead on climate change - even after Brexit

Tim Rayner & Brendan Moore

8th July 2016

In its decision to leave the EU, the UK is cutting itself off from one of the world's most effective systems of climate governance, write Tim Rayner & Brendan Moore. But we still have our own Climate Change Act and can lead the EU, if not as a member, at least by example - provided current and future Conservative Party leadership make their commitment clear, and implement their promises. more...
Prime Minister David Cameron visiting an IGas site in Gainsborough on 13th January 2014. Photo: Number 10 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UK fracking policy founded on scientific fraud, misrepresentation and prevarication

Nick Cowern

15th June 2016

The key study that justifies the Government's claim that fracking is a climate change 'solution' is based on serious scientific errors, writes Nick Cowern. Not only has the Government failed to correct them, but it is now delaying the publication of a new official report that would reveal the truth - that fracking is considerably worse for the world's climate than coal. more...
Gas tanks at a fracking well on the Marcellus Shale in North Central Pennsylvania, USA. Photo: Gerry Dincher via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Fracking is twice as bad for climate as coal - will the Climate Change Committee ban it?

Dr Robin Russell-Jones

9th June 2016

The UK government is all for fracking, writes Dr Robin Russell-Jones, but on climate grounds alone it should be banned. Evidence from the US shows that shale gas is twice as dirty as coal from a climate viewpoint due to 'fugitive emissions' of methane. That makes fracking incompatible with the UK's climate change commitments and the Paris Agreement - as the CCC may soon rule. more...
Once a mangrove forest full of life, now a sterile shrimp farm. The hard labour of destroying mangrove forests and building and operating shrimp farms is often performed by slaves. Photo: Tracy Hunter via Flickr (CC BY).

World must end slavery - for the environment as well as human rights

Kevin Bales, University of Hull

18th May 2016

Slavery is a terrible thing for the world's estimated 36 million slaves, writes Kevin Bales. But it's also an environmental disaster. Many slaves are forced to work in destructive activities like clearing forests for mines, farms and plantations - making slave labour the world's third biggest 'country' in terms of CO2 emissions. It really is time to end slavery! more...
Obama spoke out at the COP21 climate conference. But his officials helped to thwart limits on emissions from international shipping at the IMP this week. Photo: ConexiónCOP Agencia de noticias via Flickr (CC BY).

Amid Paris Agreement fanfare world fails shipping emissions test

Stephen Buranyi / DeSmog.uk & Oliver Tickell

22nd April 2016

World leaders are meeting in New York today to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, write Stephen Buranyi & Oliver Tickell. But the world just failed a big test of its commitment to the Paris targets by deadlocking on IMO proposals to limit emissions from international shipping. more...
Sunday School children of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade at St. John's Episcopal Church learn about 350 and urge politicians to pass clean energy policies, Ellicott City, Maryland, USA, 10th October 2010. Photo: 350.org.

Young Americans' legal victory could force climate change action

Sophie Marjanac / ClientEarth

19th April 2016

American NGO advocating for young people's future environmental rights has won a first key legal battle in its fight to force the United States to avoid dangerous climate change by cutting its greenhouse gas emissions, writes Sophie Marjanac. If upheld on appeal in higher courts, the ruling has huge implications for us all. more...
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on fossil fuels: 'Do as I say, not as I do'. Photo: World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

World Bank doubles fossil fuel funding in four years

Victoria Seabrook / DeSmog.uk

18th April 2016

World Bank President Jim Kim talks a good talk on cutting support to fossil fuels. But what the bank does, writes Victoria Seabrook, is a whole other story. Not only is the WB Group still pouring money into the sector, but its funding doubled between 2011 and 2015. more...
Container ship MOL GRANEUR. Photo: ARTS_fox1fire via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UK must not let shipping sink the Paris Agreement!

Barry Gardiner & Richard Burden

18th April 2016

This week, the International Maritime Organisation could act to curb fast-rising emissions from shipping under the Paris Agreement, write Barry Gardiner & Richard Burden. But there are growing fears that the UK government may seek to delay and obstruct vital progress. more...
The famous Bunda Cliffs overlooking the Great Australian Bight. Photo: Matt Turner.

BP's deep sea oil exploration in South Australia - no way!

Graham Readfearn / DeSmog.uk

14th April 2016

BP's plans to explore for oil in the deep seas of the Great Australian Bight came under fire today at the company's Annual General Meeting in London, writes Graham Readfearn. The drilling would risk the ocean's rich marine wildlife - while blowing a massive hole in Australia's COP21 emissions targets. more...

Emissions: 1/25 of 143
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Time, tide and sea level rise wait for no one ... so are we ready? Photo: clappstar via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No planet for optimists: coastal flooding may come sooner and bigger than we think

Pete Dolack

8th April 2016

Of all the impacts of climate change, one stands out for its inexorable menace, writes Pete Dolack: rising oceans. And it's not just for distant future generations to deal with: new scientific studies show that people alive today may face 6-9 metres of sea level rise flooding well over a million sq.km including many of the world's biggest cities. So where's the emergency response? more...
Global emissions trajectory 1975-2015, showing standstill in 2014 and 2015. Image: IEA.

Global emissions stand still as temperatures soar

Alex Kirby

18th March 2016

For the second year running CO2 emissions flatlined even as the global economy was growing at around 3%, writes Alex Kirby. But sharply rising temperatures show the need for further massive renewable energy deployment to actually bring emissions down. more...
ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer and funder of the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture in the Olympic Park, London have benefitted from a proportion of the EU's €24 billion handout. Photo: .Martin. via Flickr (CC BY-ND)

Europe's biggest polluters land €24 billion carbon windfall

The Ecologist

17th March 2016

The European Union's carbon market, the EU ETS, is meant to cut pollution in a cost effective way. But a new report shows that it handed the EU's biggest emitters a €24bn bumper payout over six years. Not so much the 'polluter pays' principle but the precise opposite: people pay, and polluters profit. more...
Frozen meltwater lake along the northeast Greenland coast, as seen from NASA's P-3B aircraft on May 7, 2012. Photo: Jim Yungel / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr (CC BY).

Federal Court must uphold our children's right to a viable future

James E. Hansen

9th March 2016

The US Constitution guarantees the rights of future generations, not just current ones, writes James E. Hansen. But those rights are being betrayed, knowingly and deliberately, by governments and politicians who are standing by and allowing climate change to wreak long term havoc on the planet. Today, this legal principle is being asserted in a Federal Court in Oregon. more...
Investment managers need to become shareholder- activists on climate, or their wealth, and that of their clients could go up in smoke. Photo: Drax Power Station by Ian Britton via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Fund managers: campaign on climate, or face lawsuits

The Ecologist

12th February 2016

Fund managers who neglect their 'duty of care' to clients by failing to put pressure on the companies they invest in to reduce their carbon emissions and prepare for a fossil-free future could be sued for their negligence, say respected experts in law, environment and finance. more...
Earth and Moon. Photo: NASA ESA via Wikimedia (Public Domain).

A sustainable UK needs a 'one planet' Budget

Alan Simpson

5th February 2016

When Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget next month, we can be sure that climate and environment won't take a high priority, writes Alan Simpson. All the more reason for the Labour leadership to develop a new 'one planet' economics for the 21st century that delivers social justice and respects ecological limits. more...
Wind farms such as these in Palm Springs, California could be the answer to low-cost energy throughout the US. Photo: Prayitno Hadinata via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

'Renewable energy highways' offer quick fix for US emissions

Tim Radford

2nd February 2016

Scientists say interstate energy 'highways' offer a simple approach to delivering low-cost electricity to where it’s needed throughout the US, writes Tim Radford. The best part? It's using clean, renewable energy sources, and it can be achieved in the near future using only existing, mature technologies. more...
Photo: K.H.Reichert via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The cheapest way to scale up wind and solar? A US-wide high-tech power network

Christopher Clack / NOAA

16th February 2016

Not only can the US save money on its electricity by moving to a 48-state power network based on high voltage DC power lines, writes Christopher Clack. It's also the key to increasing the penetration of renewables as the lowest cost energy source, with wind and solar delivering 55% of the nation's electricity demand - and a 78% reduction in carbon emissions. more...
A schematic of how hydrogenase catalyst can be used reversibly to produce hydrogen, and 'burn' it in a fuel cell. Image: Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, Humboldt University, Berlin.

'Green platinum' catalyst promises cheap fuel cells, emission-free fuels

Tim Radford

11th February 2016

Advanced new catalysts are poised to stimulate a clean energy revolution, writes Tim Radford. An organic replacement for the precious metal platinum would allow surplus electricity to be cheaply converted into hydrogen fuel, then burnt in low cost fuel cells to propel 'green' vehicles and generate power on demand. more...
Mine away! Just take back your carbon once it's released to the atmosphere. Vattenfall opencast brown coal mine in Germany. Photo: Yoav Lerman via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To meet Paris temperature targets, make fossil fuel producers 'take back' their carbon

Myles Allen, University of Oxford

14th December 2015

How to reconcile the Paris Agreement's target to deliver a temperature rise 'well under 2C', with its wholly inadequate mechanisms? Easy, writes Myles Allen: Make fossil fuel producers 'take back' their carbon so as to fit within a global carbon budget. And for fossil fuel producers in the rich world, that means there is no time to lose - specially to meet a 1.5C target. more...
Oil Refinery at Oxymoron. Photo: Wyatt Wellman via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

COP21: 'fossil fuel giants must pay carbon tax'

Henner Weithoener

11th December 2015

Campaigners at COP21 in Paris are calling for a new 'upstream' carbon tax to be levied on fossil fuel producers, writes Henner Weithoener, and so send a clear market signal and finance poor countries' compensation for 'loss and damage' caused by climate change. more...
Thanks to the growth of renewables, China's coal burn is falling. And it could be part of a long term trend of declining global emissions. Photo: Chengde, Hebei, China, by Gustavo M via Flickr (CC BY).

Good news for COP21: 2015 emissions fall

Tim Radford

8th December 2015

Levels of CO2 are at their the highest in 800,000 years, writes Tim Radford, but news of a probable decline in emissions this year is providing welcome cheer at the COP21 climate summit: thanks to renewables, economic growth and falling emissions can go hand in hand. more...
US Pacific Fleet aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a port visit while in transit to its homeport of San Diego. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Missing from the Paris Agreement: the Pentagon's monstrous carbon boot print

Joyce Nelson

6th January 2015

How much of the mainstream media coverage given to COP21 and the Paris Agreement mentioned the mysterious exemption given to the US's massive military and security machine? None, writes Joyce Nelson. Not only are these emissions entirely outside the UNFCCC process, but a 'cone of sillence' somehow prevents them from even forming part of the climate change discourse. more...

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