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The post-Brexit development confirms what many climate advocates feared might happen. (Photo: David B Young/flickr/cc)

'Clexit': New Fears for UK as Brexit Planners Push to Withdraw from COP21

Friends of the Earth warned vote would be 'huge challenge to decades of progress on improving the environment and tackling climate change'

Nadia Prupis

The same architects of Britain's exit from the European Union are now pushing for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the global climate treaty negotiated in Paris last December—a movement called Clexit (for "Climate Exit").

The post-Brexit development confirms what many climate advocates feared might happen. Environmental group Friends of the Earth warned after the June referendum that the U.K.'s vote to leave the EU "is a huge challenge to decades of progress on improving the environment and tackling climate change."

As Graham Readfearn reported for DeSmog Blog last week, the Clexit movement—launched "enthusiastically" by climate deniers—is backed by a "blitzkrieg of conspiracy theories and pseudo-science."

Its founding statement is "the epitome of modern climate science denial," Readfearn said, quoting some choice passages:

Brexit was Britain’s answer to the growing over-reach of EU bureaucracies. Clexit is our answer to the push for global control through climate hysteria…

If the Paris climate accord is ratified, or enforced locally by compliant governments, it will strangle the leading economies of the world with pointless carbon taxes and costly climate and energy policies, all with no sound basis in evidence or science….

This vicious and relentless war on carbon dioxide will be seen by future generations as the most misguided mass delusion that the world has ever seen…

Carbon dioxide is NOT a dangerous pollutant—it is a natural, non-toxic and beneficial gas which feeds all life on earth. Its increasing concentration is improving the environment, not harming it…

The Clexit Campaign aims to prevent ratification or local enforcement of the UN climate treaty. Nations should not tolerate UN and EU bureaucrats manipulating science in order to justify their dreams to redistribute wealth and revert to the central planning that enslaved and impoverished the old command economies…

Global warming has occurred naturally many times in the past and is not to be feared—it is not controlled by carbon dioxide or humans…

And as Dana Nuccitelli noted at the Guardian on Monday, Clexit's leaders are "heavily involved in tobacco and fossil fuel-funded organizations," a sector that's part of the now-infamous "web of denial."

Nuccitelli reported:

The group's president is Christopher Monckton, whose extensive misunderstanding of basic climate science was revealed in a thorough debunking by John Abraham, and who insists that President Obama was born in Kenya, among his many controversial and conspiratorial public statements. Its vice president is Marc Morano, who began his career working for Rush Limbaugh and is essentially the real-life version of the character Nick Naylor from the film Thank You for Smoking. Its secretary is Viv Forbes, who has been involved with coal industry for over 40 years and is associated with many fossil fuel-funded groups.

In fact, Clexit only has one climate scientist on its committee—Ole Humlum, who Nuccitelli says "has done some very shoddy research on fossil fuels and carbon pollution."

And Readfearn reports on one of the group's highest-profile founding members, Hugh Morgan, an Australian businessman and climate denier who formerly sat on the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

"As recounted in Clive Hamilton's book 'Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change,' Morgan was a central industry figure in building opposition to climate action within the Liberal Party in the 90s and early 2000s," Readfearn writes.

The Clexiters formed their group during the hottest year in recorded history, Readfearn notes—and the positions in their statement "mirror those pushed by the likes of U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, fringe right-wing Australian political party One Nation and some within the ranks of Australia's governing coalition of the Liberal and National Party."

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