Image Credit: PA Media

A climate denier and fuel lobbyist who campaigns against net zero emissions policies has been offered a platform by mainstream media to attack the fossil fuel protests, with no mention of his climate views or industry funders.

Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK campaign against fuel taxes, has been quoted in The Sun, MailOnline, inews and the Telegraph live blog and was interviewed on Sky News this week about ‘Just Stop Oil’ campaigners which blockaded fuel terminals to protest against new oil drilling licenses.

the Sun The story quotes FairFuel as saying “1 in 3 garages are out of gas” and 1,200 gas stations have been affected. The claims, which were share by the Labor Party in a controversial tweet calling for injunctions against protesters, have been contradicted by the AA, the Petrol Retailers Association and the government.

Media that carried Cox’s claims failed to mention that FairFuelUK is funded by freight industry bodies Logistics UK and the Road Haulage Association. They also didn’t mention that Cox has minimized what he calls the “presumed human-made causes” of climate change and interrogates its links to extreme weather conditions.

DeSmog has previously reported how climate deniers are using energy concerns to advance a pro-fossil fuel agenda.

Cox leads an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) with Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay, chairman of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group of backbench MPs who work with climate deniers to oppose the UK’s net zero target in 2050.

He recently spoke at panels organized by the Holocaust denier group CAR26 and told the BBC last month that concerns about the climate impact of UK fuel tax cuts were a “ virtuous signal”. Cox rejects the label of “claiming the change denier”, calling himself a “climate change realist”.

“Just Stop Oil” calls on the UK government to stop new oil and gas extraction licenses. The UN and International Energy Agency say there should be no new oil and gas projects if global temperatures are to be kept within the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C target .

The UN climate body, the IPCC, recently called for “significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions”, warning of “a brief window of opportunity that is rapidly closing to ensure a sustainable and sustainable future”. sustainable for all”.

Looking back on the oil disasters

Fair Fuel Tweeter on the fuel terminal protests, echoed by The sunsaid: “We’re getting credible reports that 1 in 3 garages are running out of gas and/or diesel, especially in the south, due to ‘stop oil’ amoebas.”

The MailOnline story notes that this was contradicted by the AA, which said that despite ‘isolated’ shortages, ‘none of its 2,700 patrols had difficulty obtaining fuel’, and by the Petrol Retailers Association, which said of its forecourts, “the majority are unaffected.”

The Guardian reported that FairFuel backtracked on its claims after being contradicted by the government, Tweeter that “pump shortages are indeed minimal and not as severe as initially indicated”.

When contacted, Howard Cox told DeSmog, “AA is not the source of all traffic information. Our survey over the weekend of 2,600 drivers who responded to our request for fuel availability, showed that one in three respondents, mostly below the Midlands, had difficulty getting fuel, particularly from diesel. It is a fact. He improved a few days later on a follow-up. I reported exactly that.

Earlier this year, Cox admitted to using a “loaded” question in an online survey, also covered by The sunwhich would have shown public opposition to the UK’s 2030 petrol and diesel ban and other climate policies.

Last week the Sun released a poll purporting to show high public support for fracking without telling readers it was commissioned by Net Zero Watch, a climate denial campaign that recently called for a “complete cut” in renewables.

The poll and the demand for renewable energy were promoted with quotes from Net Zero Scrutiny Group Chairman Craig Mackinlay.

The survey result of 44% support for fracking is out of step with the official government figure of 17% and an Opinium survey last week which found just 26% support.

Denial of climate science

Cox increasingly opposes climate action. In an interview on BBC 5 Live Breakfast last month, Cox said concern over the climate impact of UK fuel tax cuts was a “virtuous signal”, and later questioned the scientific consensus on climate change.

After the interview, he complained about BBC bias, Tweeter: “The @BBCNews anti-private car driver stance has become their religion.”

Cox has spoken at three panels this year hosted by CAR26, a climate science denier group that questions whether carbon dioxide is a “significant contributor to global warming” and suggests that teaching children about climate change climate change is ‘borderline child abuse’. Lois Perry, Director of CAR26 said the climate crisis is a “scam” designed by “elites” to make people poor and hungry.

At a CAR26 event on April 7, Cox offered to join fellow member James Delingpole, an outspoken climate denier who, at a CAR26 event in February, said: “Climate change is not real, in the sense that human-induced climate change is not a problem. Let’s stop paying lip service to this nonsense.

Last month, DeSmog revealed that Cox had written a report for the Fair Fuel APPG opposing Britain’s 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars, but did not say he was director of a company, Ultimum, which develops the type of “fuel catalyst”. his promoted report. Cox denied any conflict of interest and said he would resign from the company.

Another contributor to the report was the Global Warming Policy Foundation, of which Net Zero Watch is the campaign wing. The group is working with Mackinlay and other backbench MPs to oppose the UK’s net zero target.

UPDATED 4/14/22 to include Howard Cox’s response.

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