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Accessing environmental information relating to climate change : a case study under UK freedom of information legislation

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by John Abbot, Jennifer Marohasy
The United Kingdom’s Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) are intended to provide a mechanism whereby information held by public authorities can be accessed by the public. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee recently considered the disclosure of information from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia and concluded that emails revealed scientists encouraged colleagues to resist disclosure and delete emails, apparently to prevent disclosure through FoI requests. The case study presented here focuses on requests under FoI legislation to obtain climate information from the Met Office, particularly relating to assessments of global warming and causal relationships with greenhouse gas emissions. Evidence suggests both the CRU and the Met Office are part of a culture where institutional climate scientists are antagonistic towards disclosure of information. This has serious implications for both the effective operation of FoI legislation and the openness and transparency of climate change assessments.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

22

Start Page

3

End Page

12

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1099-0941

ISSN

1067-6058

Location

UK

Publisher

Lawtext

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Plant and Water Science; Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability (IRIS);

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Environmental law and management.

Exports

CQUniversity

Exports