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UKEF: don’t frack Patagonia, don’t fund fossil fuels

The UK government pledges billions of pounds every year in finance for UK businesses abroad through UK Export Finance (UKEF). In 2017 UKEF announced a new £1 billion credit line for UK businesses working in Argentina, with then minister Greg Hands stressing that “the UK’s expertise in areas like infrastructure, green energy and healthcare” were...

G20 summit in Argentina clashes over climate, fracking continues backstage

By Observatorio Petrolero Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina. – The G20 summit in Buenos Aires concludes Argentina’s G20 presidency. One of the year’s key themes and controversies has been climate change and the role of fossil fuels. In June the G20 energy ministers signed a communiqué highlighting the role of natural gas in “supporting transitions to lower...

BP Chairman: “fracking is a great opportunity” but don’t ask us about the risks

Today I attended BP’s annual shareholder meeting alongside Fernando Cabrera from OPSur (Argentina). Fernando came to challenge BP’s board on the dangers from their fracking operations. BP’s Argentinian arm Pan American Energy is using fracking frighteningly close to Patagonia’s freshwater supplies and fruit orchards (see our report “BP’s Fracking Secrets” for more on this). Here’s...

The Invisible Machine – a gas pipeline in the Caucasus and a handshake in No10

On the evening of Thursday 26th April 2018, it was warm and sunny in London. President Ilham Aliyev strode down Downing Street and was met by Prime Minister Theresa May with smile and a handshake. They posed for the cameras on the red carpet outside No 10 and then retired inside. A short formal chat...

The slow dismantling the house of oil – The Gulbenkian Foundation divests

Quite unexpected comes remarkable news! Lucy Neal, a long-term part of the Platform family, e-mails out of the blue, forwarding an article from the Algarve Daily News, published on 1st February in southern Portugal. The headline reads: ‘Gulbenkian Foundation gets out of the oil business’ That truly is unexpected. Lucy had not foreseen this coming...

Communal Memory – the power of community to resist Shell in Nigeria

I’m holding in my hands a report published by Amnesty International in November last year – ‘A Criminal Enterprise? Shell’s involvement in human rights violations in Nigeria in the 1990s’. It analyses in forensic detail exactly how much Shell staff knew about, and were involved in supporting, the actions by the Nigerian military taken against...

BP’s solution to the climate crisis: switch to gas

Gas will solve the climate crisis. This was the main message that BP’s CEO Bob Dudley wanted to get across at today’s annual general shareholder meeting. And it’s dangerous… Bob Dudley, BP chief, says if you closed all coal fired power plants tomorrow and replaced them with gas you would reach 2C warming scenario — Emily...

Power Station Giant Down… and commemorate!

Last Wednesday, at 11am, another giant landmark in the history of UK fossil-fuel power crashed to the ground. Never mind a landmark, this was also a giant seamark that aided navigation at the start of the Thames and Medway estuaries for hundreds of vessels every day. Its end came with two huge bangs that juddered...

Walking the Line. New Interactive Documentary

In Italy, Azerbaijan and the UK people are fighting against the devastating impacts of import pipelines and wresting back control over their energy system. In this beautiful documentary we made with Global Motion, Re:common and Counter Balance we meet the people who live alongside the Euro-Caspian Mega Pipeline and are organising against this gargantuan piece...

Stranding the Leviathan – a report from the Shell AGM in Den Haag, Netherlands

We are in the dim light and red velvet of the Circustheatre in Den Haag for the Shell AGM. Up on the podium are the assembled bishops of the company. Eight in the back row all non-executives. Five in the front row: the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Executive, the Chairman and two non-excutives. Behind...

Azerbaijani activists and journalists not free to collect Freedom of Expression Award

Guest blog from Index on Censorship Index on Censorship gave a special award at our 15th Freedom of Expression Awards – to a group of people in Azerbaijan not able to join us to collect it. Over the past eight months, Azerbaijani authorities, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, have been engaged in relentless...

EBRD plan Azerbaijan loan as regime’s fiercest critic is imprisoned

One of the most famous critics of the Aliyev regime has been imprisoned in Baku. Khadija Ismayilova, an award winning investigative journalist was arrested for ‘inciting suicide’. If found guilty she faces up to seven years in prison. Ismayilova has spent years uncovering corruption in Azerbaijan, which she has traced all the way up to...