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Tory MP urged to quit job as adviser to ‘climate denier’ US fossil fuel firm

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theguardian.com

A Tory MP has been urged to quit his second job as a £325-an-hour adviser to a US fossil fuel firm after the company was accused of using “classic climate denial” tactics to delay action on the climate crisis.Mark Pritchard, 55, Conservative MP for the Wrekin in Shropshire, took on a role providing “strategic communications advice” to Linden Energy Holdings in May, official records show.

He will be paid £46,800 a year for working 12 hours a month through his consulting company, Map Advisory.Documents obtained by the Observer suggest Texas-based Linden Energy – founded by a former lobbyist for George Bush – pushed for the increased use of fossil fuels while downplaying the role of carbon emissions in the climate crisis.In a November 2021 presentation entitled “The reality of climate change”, Linden Energy’s chief operating officer, Ray Leonard, emphasises non-human factors in global warming and claims it is “virtually impossible” to avoid 2C warming by 2050, before arguing for more investment in natural gas.While there is no suggestion of wrongdoing, the findings have led to renewed calls for tighter rules on MPs’ second jobs, as well as fresh concerns about fossil fuel lobbying.Scientists have been warning of potentially catastrophic climate breakdown since the 1980s, but attempts by industry lobbyists to cast doubt on the science have been blamed for delaying the responses of governments around the world.Last year, following a series of lobbying scandals, Boris Johnson gave his backing to proposals to clamp down on MPs taking second jobs as consultants and lobbyists.

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