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

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:

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:

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.”

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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.”