Britain has gone more than four days without using coal-fired power to generate its electricity, smashing the previous record set during last month’s Easter weekend. By late Monday morning, the National Grid said the UK had gone 122 hours in a row and rising without using coal, the burning of which is one of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change.
Independent 7th May 2019 read more »
Business Green 7th May 2019 read more »
A UK-based campaign to pressure Barclays to stop its multibillion pound funding of fossil fuel corporations is spreading to countries around the world. In the civil disobedience protests, organised by the grassroots Labour group Momentum and activists from People and Planet, campaigners disrupted business at 40 Barclays branches across the UK in March. Now it has organised the next round of peaceful protests at more than 60 branches of the bank – including sites in Germany, the US and Canada. The campaign is backed by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who last week joined a conference call of more than 200 organisers from 10 different countries. McDonnell described the protests as a “vital, urgent initiative”, adding that he would encourage all Labour members to join.
Guardian 7th May 2019 read more »
The former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has welcomed an “urgent change” by Cambridge University, after it agreed to provide fully costed plans setting out how it could divest multibillion-pound endowments from fossil fuel corporations. The university’s management accepted a motion, known as a grace, which urged Cambridge to “set out fully the advantages and disadvantages, including the social and political ones”, of divestment from global coal, oil and gas companies. The grace, agreed without adjustments by management, follows an escalating campaign by staff and students concerned about Cambridge’s financial backing for the fossil fuel industry.
Guardian 7th May 2019 read more »
It was always a poisoned chalice, mediating between multinational fracking firms and the local communities dead set against the extreme form of energy extraction in their backyards. Nonetheless, it still shocked many when the government’s “shale commissioner”, the former Labour MP Natascha Engel, resigned at the end of last month after barely six months in the job. The role was impossible, despaired Engel, who lost her seat in North East Derbyshire in 2017 after coming out in favour of fracking in the constituency. The government, she complained, was “choosing to listen to a powerful environmental lobby campaigning against fracking rather than allowing science and evidence to guide our policymaking”. Hurrah, thought Dave Shaw, as the news filtered through to Doncaster. Six years after he co-formed Frack Free South Yorkshire to oppose shale gas extraction on his doorstep, he was joyous. Over the phone in the following days, he said: “I most definitely feel we are winning. I feel like we are hammering the last nail in the coffin of the fracking industry.” Until 2011, hardly anyone in the UK who wasn’t a geologist had heard of fracking, which is the process of creating fractures in shale rock formations to release natural gas trapped inside. Then there was a series of small earthquakes caused by fracking near Blackpool by a firm called Cuadrilla. Concerns began to mount and the government issued a moratorium on fracking. But in December 2012, the government lifted the ban and began issuing exploration licences covering large swathes of the UK, including about 95% of South Yorkshire. Shaw – who is a Labour councillor as well as a builder – has been at the forefront of the fightback. Last week, he was in the final planning stages of one of the best-publicised protests yet, at the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race. Team Sky – the British squad that has won the Tour de France in six of the past seven years – were racing, only they had transformed into Team Ineos, after their new sponsor, a petrochemical and plastic-producing company that holds licences to frack all over Yorkshire.
Guardian 8th May 2019 read more »