The oil & Gas authority: “the very epitome of greenwashing”

The UK regulator announced on Monday it would now be known as the North Sea Transition Authority, a change it said reflected its “expanding role” in the country’s energy sector. But climate campaigners denounced the move as “meaningless” and said it would “fool no one”.

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said rebrand was “the very epitome of greenwashing” and that as much as the authority talked up transition its intentions were clearly “to wring every last drop of oil and gas out of the North Sea, to the detriment of our climate”. “Unless that changes, this name change will fool no-one,” she added.

Danny Gross, a climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said “no amount” of rebranding could make the authority greener.“Not when its central purpose is to extract every profitable drop of oil and gas from UK waters,” he added.

Read the full story here

Oil derrick

Announcing its new name Monday, the authority said last year it revised its strategy to put net zero “at the heart” of its work alongside stewarding production. The North Sea Transition Deal between the government and industry last March set out an ambitious programme for the path to net zero and the “crucial” role the UK’s oil and gas industry should play, it added.

Hard to square that with an increase in drilling.

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THE US BILL PROMISING BILLIONS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MIGHT NOT BE ALL IT SEEMS: 

The INFLATION REDUCTION ACT  is being heralded as a huge win for the climate movement. It is instead a death sentence for humanity and for the earth. The Act is a gift to the fossil fuel industry, allowing them to extract and profit for as long as possible under the guise of climate change policy. 

The Climate Crisis is here now, at home in the United States. In the last month alone, we have seen record flooding, heatwaves and wildfires. We are teetering on the edge of full-blown catastrophe, with mass extinction a distinct possibility. Federal policies which continue to promote fossil fuel expansion such as the Inflation reduction Act, is a public display of the inability of the federal government to overcome partisan politics and special interests, even in the face of a looming crisis. 

We're well used to the Government saying one thing and with smoke and mirrors delivering something rather different. Once all the dues have been paid to vested interests, lobby groups, climate sceptics and more we have been left with something that doesn't look like the claims the government made in the first place. Seems like Pressure Biden and the US Government is up to the same thing. Read the statement from Extinction Rebellion New York here:

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just in case you thought it was only our government being economical with the truth ....

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EDucation department has a different story to the government .... er ... hang on a minute aren't they the same thing?

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Government “We are absolutely committed to tackling climate change, with the UK having cut emissions faster than any G7 country over the past three decades.” “ Building on the PM’s 10 Point Plan, our landmark NetZero Strategy sets out a clear path for reaching net zero emissions by 2050, with £26bn investment to help develop low-carbon technologies and create hundreds of thousands of new green jobs”

The UK Hydrogen Strategy - Blue or Green or Grey?

UK Investing in Coal ...

UK Road Building Schemes ...

New Oil & Gas licences ...

Our imports are not counted in our emissions ...

Funding Biofuel power stations ...

Subsidising Fossil Fuel Companies ...

£124m fund for nature .... £27b for roads .... £108b for HS2

C4: How Green is the Government?

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Would you like to know what the government says its doing and what it actually is doing ? Download one of these charge sheets ....

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"This is not all about some politically correct green act of bunny hugging or however you want to put  it. Cake. Have. Eat.  is my message to you. (April 2021)"

"I want you to raise your eyes. I want you to imagine that you’re arriving in Britain in 2030; you arrive in your zero-carbon jet made in the UK, you flash your Brexit blue passport, you get an EV electric vehicle taxi and as you travel around you see a country that is and has been transformed for the better. Walking among the millions of trees that have been planted, going for picnics in the new wild belts that now mark the landscape ...."

Their plan is a market-led , technology-driven 10 point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. And a month ago he told the UN why he was so confident his approach would work. “When Kermit the frog sang ‘it’s not easy being green’, I want you to know he was wrong. It is easy, it’s not only easy but its right to be green."

Global Investment Summit 2021: "The 10 point plan, the new decalon which I brought down from Sanai last year is today being elaborated in our plan for net zero to build back greener."

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But what is the 10 point plan?

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C4: How Green is the Government?

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And more from the windbag ...

"We produce so much offshore wind that I’m thinking of changing my name in honour of the god of the north wind – to Boreas Johnson"

“I remember how some people used to sneer at wind power 20 years ago, and say it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding, well they forgot the history of this country. It was offshore wind that puffed the sails of Drake and Raleigh and Nelson and propelled this country to commercial greatness .."

"True, last year (2020) wind supplied almost 25% of our electricity, and in the 10 point plan Johnson pledged to quadruple that by 2030 to generate more electricity than all our home use today. But as for wind’s role in the Green Industrial revolution, it is not so simple. The Green Industrial Revolution has been outsourced. Wind turbines .... the first of 114 giant turbines for the Sea Green Wind Farm off Shetland are being manufactured in China and the UAE and shipped here with all the Carbon emissions involved in that. The Turbine towers are largely Danish and the whole project is majority owned by French oil company Total with 49% held by Scottish & Southern Energy."

C4: How Green is the Government?

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Pollution

The UK Government says "how going one step greener can help the planet"

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Living a bit greener can't be a bad thing but ....

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UK military and Arms companies produce more CO2 than 60 individual countries, and these emissions up to 11 times higher than admitted by the MoD (a pattern of flawed reporting on its environmental impacts). Reference

This is why if you're a UK citizen, no matter what you do individually, you'll still have a carbon footprint greater than required for the global average required (~2t CO2/year) to remain below 1.5degC. We need government action NOW.

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Pollution
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Yes it will Prime Minister. So why are you carrying on building new roads, destroying ecology with an unaffordable train, issuing licences for companies to drill for new oil in the North Sea, continuing to give tax breaks to Fossil Fuel companies, stopping grants for insulating homes, allowing the building of new road tunnels, incinerators and on and on.

 

It's not hard to see how history will judge this government.

Download and read the list of actions they are taking which are specifically going to make Climate Change worse. Download the "charge sheet"

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Pollution

What the UK Government says

We will deliver a stronger, cleaner, more sustainable economy after this pandemic."

 

"The government will build back better, build back greener, build back faster (3/8/20)

What the UK Government does

Only allocated 20% of Covid-19 recovery spending for 'green' policy (according to Oxford & UNDP analysis) (1/3/21)

Prioritised high carbon industries (i.e. carmakers, oil companies and aviation) in Covid-19 relief funding - providing £4.9 billion in bailouts and loans - with zero environmental conditions. (10/2/21)

Bank of England has poured £875 billion into the economy in 2020 with zero environmental conditions through 'Quantitative Easing', despite mandate to support government climate goals. (1/11/20)

Pollution

What the UK Government says

"We will support clean transport to ensure clean air" (1/11/19)

What the UK Government does

Froze petrol, diesel and some red-diesel duties for 11th consecutive year at the estimated annual cost of £11.2 billion (according to Institute of Fiscal Studies) (3/3/21)

Announced their £27 billion road expansion programme - the largest ever in England - (for which the DfT is currently facing legal action for ignoring official advice to consider policy in line with climate obligations and for grossly underestimating the emissions output from the scheme) (11/3/20)

Plan to cut Air Passenger Duty on UK domestic flights (10/3/21)

Cut Air Passenger Duty for short and medium haul flights for 9th year in a row (3/3/21)

Failed to call-in current expansion plans at 25 major commercial UK airports, many of which aim to double passenger numbers by 2030 despite CCC directive for no net airport expansion

Pollution

What the UK Government says

We will take all possible action to mitigate climate change, while adapting to reduce its impact (11/1/18)

What the UK Government does

Gave the green light on the construction of Europe's largest fossil fuel plant at Drax site in Yorkshire, over-ruling the planning inspector's verdict that it was incompatible with the Paris Agreement obligations. (4/10/19)

Continue to issue licenses for new offshore oil and gas exploration In 2020, UK issued 113 new 27-30 year licences for oil & gas exploration and extraction - 5th largest total licensed area in the world (3/9/20)

Gave the green light on a new deep coal mine in Cumbria - the first in 30 years - with lifetime emissions estimated at 420 million tons of CO2 (more than UK's total annual emissions). Now under review (6/1/21)

Gave £16 billion funding package to the oil and gas sector to encourage the sector to decarbonise, with no time frame set for doing so. (24/3/21)

Pollution

What the UK Government says

We are leading the way, setting an example, net zero by 2030 blah blah blah 

@BorisJohnson said the UK would "lead the way" on climate change as we prepare to host global climate talks, COP26.

What the UK Government does

Last year, representatives from ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, Equinor and BP met with the then UK trade minister for a private dinner in Texas where natural gas was championed as a “vital part of the solution” to tackling climate change, according to a freedom of information request. Read more here

Off-track to meet 4th carbon budget of 50% reduction in emissions by 2027 (1/6/20)

Pollution

What the UK Government says

By COP26 we need every country to have stepped up, with Long-Term Strategies and clear policies...that put us on track to 1.5 degrees

What the UK Government does

Environment ministry still have no plan or policies in place to meet emissions target, according to internal memo (5/5/21)

Failing on 17 out of 21 annual progress indicators for Net-Zero by 2050 (1/6/20)

Off-track to meet 4th carbon budget of 50% reduction in emissions by 2027 (1/6/20)

Pollution

What the UK Government says

£9.2bn in support for energy efficiency in existing homes, schools and hospitals (1/11/19)

What the UK Government does

Only allocated £3bn of funding to improve energy efficiency in homes, schools and hospitals - £1bn of which was then withdrawn a year later.(1/11/20)

Pollution
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Look around the EU and you'll find big corporates sponsoring operations. Whether or not this compromises the political system.

 

The only guideline needed is NO SPONSORSHIP deals between governments holding the EU Council Presidency and companies.

This is unacceptable. How can EU governments be signing deals with companies whose products are in direct contradiction with the stated aims of the EU? The EU Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy and the EU Cancer Plan all recognise that what we consume has direct effects on health and the environment – and yet the companies producing sugar-filled soft drinks are being actively promoted by our decision-makers. Other deals in recent years have been with fossil fuel companies, car manufacturers, and Big Tech.

We are calling on the Prime Minister of the current EU Council Presidency, Antonio Costa of Portugal, and all member states’ ambassadors to the EU to do the right thing and ban all future sponsorship deals. Please take action and send a clear message to them all before any more deals are signed.  more here

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Pollution

What the UK Government says

We are taking the lead with an ambitious new target to reduce our emissions [by 68%] by 2030, faster than any major economy (4/12/20)

What the UK Government does

Off-track to meet 57% reduction in emissions by 2032 (i.e. Fifth Carbon Budget) (1/6/20)

Smoke

" The UK is leading the fight against Climate Change",

 a spokesperson from the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, told CNN in an email. "We were the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050, and have cut emissions by 43% since 1990 -- the best in the G7."

Many countries produce fossil fuels despite committing to combat climate change. But Canada, Norway and the UK stand out because they are doing that while positioning themselves as climate champions. The UK government can make these claims, because under international agreements, each country is only responsible for greenhouse gas emissions produced within its territory. That means the UK, Canada, Norway and others don't need to worry about the emissions caused by the burning of their oil, gas and coal in other places around the world. more here

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Pollution

He also highlighted measures the UK is taking to reduce emissions and stresses the importance of helping vulnerable countries "adapt and build resilience".

Fine words, Prime Minister ... but your project to cut emissions from home heating - the Green Homes Grant - is in disarray, with the chancellor pulling out funds.

Your government is building the high-speed rail HS2, which is likely to be adding to carbon emissions until the back half of the century. And you're promoting a £27bn road-building programme. What's more, you are permitting a new coal mine in Cumbria while urging other nations to relinquish coal - or are you actually going to cancel it??. 

read more: Government on its ambitions for COP26

A Greenpeace spokesperson accused the PM of "weapons-grade hypocrisy"

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Pollution
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2 stories on the same day - telling different versions of things.  (Pretty much a description of greenwash.)

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The government has scrapped its flagship green homes grant scheme, the centrepiece of Boris Johnson’s promise to “build back greener” from the Covid-19 pandemic, just over six months after its launch.

The abandonment of the £1.5bn programme, which offered households grants of up to £5,000 or £10,000 to put in insulation or low-carbon heating, leaves the UK without a plan for tackling one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.  Read the whole story here

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Pollution
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Philip Davies, MP for Shipley was happy to be elected in 2019 under the following election manifesto commitment: "We will lead the global fight against climate change by delivering on our world-leading target of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”

Yet he sends out this letter ....

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Pollution

@BorisJohnson said the UK would "lead the way" on climate change as we prepare to host global climate talks, COP26.

And Oil giant Shell and Siccar Point Energy are seeking permission from the UK Government to develop the Cambo oil field, West of Shetland, just months ahead of COP26. In the first phase, due to start in 2025, the companies expect to extract 150 million barrels of oil - the emissions equivalent of 16 coal-fired power plants running for a year. They anticipate operating the Cambo field, which contains 800 million boe, until 2050, by which time Britain has pledged to be net carbon neutral..

More information here, please write and let the government know this is insane.

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And it gets worse: The companies behind the Cambo Field are being paid to pollute. Between 2015 and 2019, Siccar Point paid effectively no tax. In 2019, the UK Government paid Siccar Point £41m. In 2020, the UK Government paid Shell £99.1m. We’re subsiding climate disasters like the Cambo Field every year. Read more here

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Pollution

What the UK Government says

"The UK will double its investment to help developing countries turn the tide against climate change" (23/3/19)

"The UK is committed to securing our path to global net zero" 

"Climate is the UK’s foremost international priority”.

What the UK Government does

UKEF and HM Treasury guaranteed over $1 billion in financial support for a methane gas project in Mozambique - UK's largest single investment. (Still set to go ahead despite recent government decision to end funding for fossil fuel projects overseas) (17/7/20)

Used £3.5 billon of public funds to support fossil fuel projects via UK Export Finance since joining the Paris Agreement (2016-2017)

Increased UKEF funding for overseas fossil fuel projects 11-fold to nearly £2bn over 12 months as support for renewables fell to £700,000. (2018 - 2019)

Smoke

The UK government says "Climate change is happening and is due to human activity, this includes global warming and greater risk of flooding, droughts and heat waves." 

 

The Climate Change Act 2008 introduced the UK’s first legally binding target for 2050 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% compared to 1990 levels. We have made strong progress – between 1990 and 2017, the UK reduced its emissions by 42% while growing the economy by more than two thirds. However, we have recognised the need to go further. On 27 June 2019 the UK government amended the Climate Change Act and set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. This world-leading target will bring to an end the UK’s contribution to climate change.

Lilley’s appointment was “beyond farcical” due to his association with a group that “spreads disinformation and refuses to divulge its funding sources.”

 

The government has established a committee to monitor its progress in hitting it's published and legal Carbon emission targets. Read more about the committee here.  

 

One of the members of the committee is Lord Peter Lilley, who has disputed mainstream climate science and was one of just five MPs to oppose the UK’s climate change act in 2008, is listed alongside 12 other peers proposed as members of the new environment and climate change committee (ECCC), due to be formally appointed next week.  

The former MP for Hitchin and Harpenden was until last year a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a group founded by former Conservative chancellor and climate science denier, Lord Nigel Lawson, to combat what it described as “extremely damaging and harmful” climate policies.

 

More about the GWPF here.

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Pollution

After the G7 the UK Government is determined to lead the world on responding to Climate Change:

"Radical new climate change commitments will set the UK on course to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035, the UK government has announced.

Hitting the targets would require more electric cars, low-carbon heating, renewable electricity and, for many, cutting down on meat and dairy.

For the first time, climate law will be extended to cover international aviation and shipping."

and more misleading stories called out by the independent Climate Change Commission: read here "UK warned it is unprepared for climate chaos". Even worse ... The committee, also known as the CCC, says the UK is even worse prepared than it was five years ago, at the time of its last report on the risks of climate change.

We wonder how long the Government thinks it can go on lying to the people it is elected to protect. We will continue to call out these glaring examples of lying and half truths. 

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birmingham city council

Along with many other councils, Birmingham City Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019. "The council is committed to taking a leading role, playing its part, and working with individuals, communities, businesses, partners, and others across the city and region to act now on the causes and impacts of the climate emergency."  Have a look at their claims here

But [wait for it...] BCC's blinkered climate policies are unambitiously, unrealistically applied. The Second City is the fourth worst English council for recycling. Thats 335th out of 338 councils. This measures the % of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting and scores Birmingham at 22.5%. I wonder what they do with all the rubbish they collect - landfill? send it abroad?

On the 5th May in the local Council elections you have the opportunity to ask how their declaration of an emergency is doing nearly 3 years later?

See the full information here

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