UK Government’s New Low Pay Advisor Heads Climate Denial Network

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Original article by Adam Barnett republished from DeSmog.

Philippa Stroud, chair of the government’s Low Pay Commission, and CEO of the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship. Credit: ARC (CC0 1.0 DEED)

Tory peer Philippa Stroud, who has close ties to the funders of GB News, has been elevated to a senior advisory role by the government.

A new government advisor on the minimum wage is the head of an international network of climate crisis deniers funded by the owners of GB News, DeSmog can reveal.

Philippa Stroud was appointed chair of the Low Pay Commission, a body reporting to Kemi Badenoch’s Department of Business and Trade, on 30 January. The government-appointed role pays £530 per day for three days of work per month (£19,114 per year).

The Conservative peer is the CEO of the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC), a new pressure group that shares its funders with GB News and is linked to some of the world’s most prominent climate crisis deniers, including psychologist Jordan Peterson. Stroud has been described by The Telegraph as “the most powerful right-winger you’ve never heard of”.

The appointment comes as senior Conservative Party figures continue to embrace anti-climate politics. On 6 February, former prime minister Liz Truss attacked “net zero zealots” at the launch of her new Popular Conservatism faction. 

Last month, Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Clare Coutinho met with and praised fuel pricing lobbyist Howard Cox, a Reform UK candidate who wants to “scrap net zero” and claims that “man is not responsible for global warming”.

The government is also pushing ahead with legislation that would require the awarding of annual North Sea oil and gas licences. The Climate Change Committee, the independent body that advises the government on its net zero policies, warned on 30 January that mixed messages, including new fossil fuel projects, have damaged the UK’s international climate standing.

Last year was the first on record to see consistent global warming of 1.5C, according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. 

DeSmog has previously revealed that the Conservative Party received £3.5 million in donations from fossil fuel interests and climate science deniers in 2022.

Stroud’s appointment also cements the relationship between the Conservative Party and GB News. On Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak took part in an hour-long town hall event on GB News, following the example of several Conservative MPs who are regular guests and presenters on the right-wing broadcaster. 

Stroud’s ARC project is run by hedge fund manager Paul Marshall and the UAE-based Legatum Group, GB News’s principal backers. The Legatum Institute, a think tank funded by the Legatum Group, gave £50,000 to a faction of the Conservative Party in December. Before taking up her post at ARC, Stroud was CEO of the Legatum Institute. 

“Anti-science climate change denialism has become the secret handshake that ushers in the faithful and bars the door to unbelievers,” Jolyon Maugham, executive director of the Good Law Project, told DeSmog. “This is an appalling betrayal of the principles of sound government – and of our children who need us to be led by science and not by the financial interests of wealthy Tory donors.”

ARC, Stroud, the Legatum Group, and the Low Pay Commission were approached for comment. 

ARC and Legatum

Philippa Stroud was made a life peer by then prime minister David Cameron (now foreign secretary) in 2015, after failing to win a parliamentary seat in 2010. 

The Legatum Group, which has employed Stroud both directly and indirectly since 2016, is one of the largest shareholders in GB News, which frequently attacks climate science and policies. A DeSmog investigation found that one in three GB News hosts spread climate denial on air in 2022. 

GB News’s other major owner is British billionaire Paul Marshall, chairman and chief investment officer of the hedge fund Marshall Wace. DeSmog revealed that, as of June 2023, Marshall Wace owned shares worth $2.2 billion (£1.8 billion) in fossil fuel firms. This included a $213 million (£175.6 million) shareholding in the oil and gas supermajor Chevron, as well as stakes in Shell, Equinor, and 109 other fossil fuel companies. 

In her statement announcing the launch of ARC, Stroud took aim at climate policies, writing that “we risk driving policy interventions to address environmental concerns without having an honest conversation about the trade-offs for the poor at home or in developing and emerging nations”.

Poor and indigenous groups in developing countries will be hit hardest by the impacts of climate change, while those suffering from poverty at home have seen their energy bills soar as successive governments have failed to implement green reforms. 

ARC is fronted by Canadian author Jordan Peterson, who regularly posts about “climate apocalypse insanity” and “eco fascists” to his millions of online followers. Peterson has promoted fringe climate crisis deniers on his YouTube channel and, as revealed by DeSmog, plans to open a new online school also featuring several climate crisis deniers. 

ARC’s advisory board includes writers Bjorn Lomborg and Michael Shellenberger, both of whom have written books downplaying the threats posed by climate change, as well as Tony Abbott, the former prime minister of Australia and a director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the UK’s principal climate science denial group. 

Late last year, speaking on the outskirts of ARC’s launch conference in London, Abbott claimed climate change has “nothing to do with mankind’s emissions”. ARC advisor Vivek Ramaswamy, who also spoke at the conference, has called climate change a “hoax” and has said that “real emergency isn’t climate change, it’s the man-made disaster of climate change policies that threaten US prosperity.”

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading climate science body, states it is “unequivocal” that human influence has caused “unprecedented” global warming. 

Kemi Badenoch, whose department appointed Stroud to her new advisory role, also spoke at the ARC conference alongside Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove. The pair were joined by a number of Conservative MPs. 

Stroud’s appointment to the government’s Low Pay Commission was first trailed by The Telegraph in December. A “Whitehall source” told the paper that Stroud was selected for the three-year post to block a possible left-wing appointment by a Labour government.

Carla Denyer, Green Party co-leader and its parliamentary candidate for Bristol Central said that Stroud’s appointment was “hardly the most appropriate” and that “the Conservatives seem set on placing their people across the quango world before the general election.”

Original article by Adam Barnett republished from DeSmog.

Rishi Sunak on stopping Rosebank says that any chancellor can stop his huge 91% subsidy to build Rosebank, that Keir Starmer is as bad as him for sucking up to Murdoch and other plutocrats and that we (the plebs) need to get organised to elect MPs that will stop Rosebank.
Rishi Sunak on stopping Rosebank says that any chancellor can stop his huge 91% subsidy to build Rosebank, that Keir Starmer is as bad as him for sucking up to Murdoch and other plutocrats and that we (the plebs) need to get organised to elect MPs that will stop Rosebank.
Continue ReadingUK Government’s New Low Pay Advisor Heads Climate Denial Network

Bristol Green Party candidate says government is ‘complicit’ over Gaza killings

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https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-green-party-candidate-says-9099091

Carla Denyer is the co-leader of the Green Party in England and Wales (Image: BristolLive)

Bristol Green Party candidate Carla Denyer is demanding the UK scale up action against the Israeli government over the Gaza conflict. The Greens are calling for an end to all arms sales to Israel, prosecutions of war criminals and sanctions on Israel’s leaders.

The Green Party co-leader, who will stand in Bristol Central, has called for the UK to suspend arms export licences to Israel and to take measures such as excluding Israel from music and sporting events.

Ms Denyer said: “It is clear that the Israeli government is refusing to heed warnings about the catastrophic implications of an all-out attack on Rafah. The UK government must now demand that Israel stop the killing, calling for an immediate ceasefire. Hamas must also agree to this ceasefire of course, and release all hostages.

“Decisions made by the UK government – above all its failure, month after month, to call for an immediate ceasefire – have made them complicit in the killing of almost 28,000 people to date, 12,000 of whom are children.

“Israel relies on certain weapon parts manufactured in the UK, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter whose essential components are made here. A Dutch court has ordered the state to cease the export of F-35 spare parts to Israel. We call on the UK government to follow suit.

“Greens would implement the requirements of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign across the UK economy. This would include excluding Israel from international sporting and music events.

“It is clear that only outside pressure will make Israel stop its mass killing. We can increase the pressure on Israeli leaders by introducing targeted sanctions against key individuals. This would include travel bans and asset freezes on Israel’s leadership and cabinet members, in particular those calling for new settlements in Gaza and the annexation of the West Bank.

“Finally, we would encourage UK authorities including the Metropolitan Police and director of public prosecutions to pursue perpetrators of war crimes committed where UK citizens are the victims or where UK citizens are potential perpetrators.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-green-party-candidate-says-9099091

Continue ReadingBristol Green Party candidate says government is ‘complicit’ over Gaza killings

Labour abandons £28 billion green investment plan – Greens call it a massive backward step for climate and economy

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Image of the Green Party's Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.
Image of the Green Party’s Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.

Responding to news that Labour is abandoning its policy of spending £28bn a year on its green investment plan, Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party, said:

“This is a massive backward step – for the climate, for the economy and for good quality jobs. Both the security of our planet for future generations and the UK’s future prosperity is dependent on greening our economy and that requires large scale investment.  

“Labour have chosen to wear their fiscal rules as a millstone around their neck. A different approach through tax reforms, in particular by introducing a wealth tax on the super-rich, could help pay for the green transition. There is more than enough money in the economy to pay for this. Indeed, the Green Party would go further and faster, investing at least double what Labour originally pledged, so we can turbo charge the transition to a green economy.  

“Greens recognise that investing in a green future will provide people with economic, social and environmental security. By decarbonising industry, insulating buildings, and ramping up renewable energy infrastructure, the UK can drastically reduce emissions, cut household bills and create new, good quality, well-paid and secure jobs in every corner of the country.   

“Investing in this secure future is a political choice. By ditching its green investment plan, and making a series of other U-turns, Labour has clearly signalled that it is turning its back on a fairer, greener future.

The Labour party is expected to make a further announcement today.

Continue ReadingLabour abandons £28 billion green investment plan – Greens call it a massive backward step for climate and economy

Government has blown pretence of climate leadership with ‘max out’ fossil fuels pledge say Greens

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The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has accused the UK government of giving ‘mixed messages’ at the COP28 climate summit held in Dubai in December.

The CCC said: “The international perception of the UK’s climate ambition suffered from mixed messages following announcements on new fossil fuel developments and the prime minister’s speech to soften some net zero policies. The committee urges a continued visible presence at future Cops and even greater domestic climate ambition to reinforce the UK’s international standing.”

Image of the Green Party's Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.
Image of the Green Party’s Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.

Responding, co-leader of the Green Party, Carla Denyer, said:

“Through its drive to ‘max out’ on North Sea fossil fuels, the UK government has blown any pretence of global leadership on tackling the climate crisis. Ministers have been forced into admitting that their energy security defence of the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill was nonsense because oil and gas corporations sell to the highest bidder on the open market.

“So at odds with the government’s target of reducing emissions is this dangerous Bill that it has led to the resignation of Chris Skidmore who chaired the government’s Net Zero Review.  

“We need to call time on all new licences for fossil fuel exploration, accelerate the move towards renewable energy and implement a large scale home insulation programme. That is how the UK can show climate leadership.”

Rishi Sunak offers huge fossil fuel subsidies to develop fossil fuel extraction in UK.
Rishi Sunak offers huge fossil fuel subsidies to develop fossil fuel extraction in UK.
Continue ReadingGovernment has blown pretence of climate leadership with ‘max out’ fossil fuels pledge say Greens

Green Party claims that poverty is a political choice

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Image of the Green Party's Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.
Image of the Green Party’s Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.

Responding to this year’s poverty report from the Joeseph Rowntree Foundation, which says that it is now 20 years and six prime ministers since there was a sustained fall in poverty, co-leader of the Green Party, Carla Denyer, said: 

“This latest report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation makes for grim reading. Over one in five people in the UK were living in poverty in 2021/22. That’s almost 14 and a half million people, with over eight million working-age adults and over four million children.  

“For years, successive UK governments have allowed poverty to become entrenched and for inequality to widen. The super-rich have seen their incomes soar during a time of increased hardship for millions of people.  

“It doesn’t have to be this way. Poverty is a political choice. 

“There are things that can be done quickly to address the sickening levels of poverty in our society. For example, the Green Party would increase Universal Credit by £40 per week and abolish the two-child benefit cap. A wealth tax on the super-rich, along with tax reforms such as changes to Capital Gains Tax and abolishing “non dom status,” could pay for these and other measures to reduce poverty.  

“As Labour finalises its manifesto, there’s little indication that they will make the right political choices to help the millions enduring grinding poverty. Which is why we so desperately need a group of Green MPs in parliament after the next general election to put pressure on Labour to do the right thing.” 

Continue ReadingGreen Party claims that poverty is a political choice

Green Party’s Carla Denyer on Chris Skidmore’s resignation

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Image of the Green Party's Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.
Image of the Green Party’s Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.

Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer reacts to the resignation of Tory environment champion Chris Skidmore:

“As the world burns, the Tories turn in on themselves. The government’s green credentials are truly in tatters.

“The climate crisis is here and now and being experienced by people across the country, but the Prime Minister can’t hold on to anyone who has any good intentions toward the environment.

“Labour has to be held to account as well – it refused to block Rosebank and other new oil and gas licences. How long before Labour’s own green champions feel their principles are too compromised to continue?”

Continue ReadingGreen Party’s Carla Denyer on Chris Skidmore’s resignation

Green Party Carla Denyer’s New Year message

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Image of the Green Party's Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.
Image of the Green Party’s Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.

Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer said: 

“I am really looking forward to the year ahead. There is a General Election on the horizon and with it a chance to create a fairer, greener country – and get more Green MPs elected to Parliament. 

“2023 was a big year for the Green Party. Thanks to another set of record-breaking local election results in May, we now have more councillors than ever before – representing our communities with integrity and commitment.   

“We continue to be the party standing for fairness – defending our environment and our democracy while standing up for the interests of people up and down the country in local communities. 

“More and more people are telling us how much they want to come together and help build a fairer, greener country.  

“More and more people are experiencing the Green Party in action. They see that we stand for and what we achieve in their communities and in Parliament. And that means more and more people are now proudly voting Green.  

“2024 is going to be a momentous year for people and the planet. It’s time for action.” 

Continue ReadingGreen Party Carla Denyer’s New Year message

Rwanda plans are an affront to democracy and human rights, say Greens  

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Image of the Green Party's Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.
Image of the Green Party’s Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.

Responding to the government publishing plans to disapply sections of the Human Rights Act to get around a Supreme Court ruling banning the deportation of people seeking asylum to Rwanda for processing, Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer said: 

“The fact that the government is going to try to use its parliamentary majority to over-ride established human rights protections is an affront to democracy. 

“We need a system that welcomes refugees through clear, open, safe and legal routes, that offers quick and efficient determinations and support for resettlement into local communities with properly funded local services.” 

“Instead of creating an asylum system that works, the government is deliberately making it chaotic and inaccessible to put people off using their right to seek asylum.  

“It is the use of cruelty and inhumanity as a tool of public policy and cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. 

“Everyone deserves to be treated in a way that is fair and humane. This new legislation will remove fundamental legal protections designed to protect us all from the arbitrary power of the state.”

Continue ReadingRwanda plans are an affront to democracy and human rights, say Greens  

‘This is what ‘climate leadership’ looks like’: Sunak and Cameron blasted for taking private jets to COP28

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https://leftfootforward.org/2023/12/this-is-what-climate-leadership-looks-like-sunak-and-cameron-blasted-for-taking-private-jets-to-cop28/

One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak travelled to the COP28 Climate Conference by private jet.

‘Members of a super-rich elite who are super-heating the planet.’

As the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) got underway in Dubai on November 30, the Prime Minister is facing fresh outrage from climate campaigners over his choice of transport to the meeting – private jet.

Downing Street confirmed that as well as Sunak, the new foreign secretary, David Cameron, and the King, were all taking separate private jets to a conference aimed at tackling climate change and cutting global emissions.

Defending the decision, the PM’s official spokesperson claimed there was nothing wrong with the UK’s leading representatives travelling to the crucial climate summit this way, as the government is ‘not anti-flying.’

“We are not anti-flying. We do not seek to restrict the public from doing so and it’s important the UK has strong attendance at COP28, given we continue to be a world leader in tackling climate change,” said the spokesperson.

No 10. also insisted that the plane Rishi Sunak was using operates on 30 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and carbon offsetting will be used to minimise its impact on the environment.

The announcement was not received well among climate campaigners and opposition parties.

Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party, described Sunak and Cameron as members of a “super-rich elite who are super-heating the planet.”

 “A short trip on a private jet will produce more carbon than the average person emits all year,” she continued.

Caroline Lucas said the “excessive climate-wrecking private flights amount to pumping jet fumes in the face of those on the frontline of this crisis.” The Green MP is also in support of a new levy on private jets to “make them think twice before hopping on the next one.”

https://leftfootforward.org/2023/12/this-is-what-climate-leadership-looks-like-sunak-and-cameron-blasted-for-taking-private-jets-to-cop28/

Image of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reads 1% RICHEST 100% CLIMATE DENIER
Image of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reads 1% RICHEST 100% CLIMATE DENIER
Continue Reading‘This is what ‘climate leadership’ looks like’: Sunak and Cameron blasted for taking private jets to COP28

Green Party calls for a UK ban on private jets

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The Green Party has called for a ban on all private jets taking off or landing at UK airports. They say this form of transportation, favoured by a super-rich elite, is the ultimate symbol of ‘climate inequality’ where the richest 1% of the population produce as much planet warming pollution each year as 5 billion people making up the poorest two-thirds of the global population.

Image of the Green Party's Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.
Image of the Green Party’s Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time.

Co-leader of the Green Party, Carla Denyer, said: 

“As the COP28 climate conference gets under way this week, governments can no longer ignore the very large elephant in the room – that it is a super-rich elite who are super-heating the planet.  

“Private jets are the favoured form of transport by this super-rich elite and are the ultimate symbol of the ‘climate inequality’ that is not only leading to the breakdown of our climate but is also deeply unfair. A short trip on a private jet will produce more carbon than the average person emits all year.   

“The Green Party wants the UK government to challenge the grotesque inequality driving climate breakdown. By pledging to impose a ban on all private jets taking off or landing at UK airports, the government would send a clear message to global leaders at COP28 that the super-rich cannot be allowed to continue with their lavish and destructive lifestyles at the expense of the rest of the global population.  

“The Green Party also wants to see the introduction of a carbon tax which would target the biggest polluters, and a wealth tax on the super-rich. Oxfam has calculated that taxing the world’s richest 1% fairly would cut carbon emissions equivalent to more than the total emissions of the UK. 

“While the richest can use their vast wealth to cocoon themselves, the poorest have nowhere to hide from the impacts of climate chaos. COP28 needs to ensure those with the greatest responsibility for the climate crisis end their destructive ways. And we must redistribute the price paid by the heaviest polluters towards helping those on the front line of climate breakdown and to hasten the transition to a fairer, greener world.” 

Continue ReadingGreen Party calls for a UK ban on private jets