Global Warming Policy Foundation

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The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) was launched by Nigel Lawson on November 23rd 2009 in the House of Lords. The Foundation is an all-party and non-party think tank and a registered educational charity. The GWPF website states that:

Our main purpose is to bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant.
The GWPF's primary purpose is to help restore balance and trust in the climate debate that is frequently distorted by prejudice and exaggeration.
Our main focus is to analyse global warming policies and its economic and other implications. Our aim is to provide the most robust and reliable economic analysis and advice.[1]

Background

At the launch of the GWPF Nigel Lawson told his audience that following the release of his book An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming he received great encouragement and support, in particular from scientists and engineers with experience in the field. He was urged to continue with his work and this led to him founding the think tank, which can do more than he could alone.[2] A report by the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) in December 2010 found that:

The GWPF claims that their main purpose is ― to bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant. Yet it relentlessly claims that climate change will not have too serious effects. The group‘s claim to be sceptical about climate policy and not about climate change itself appears a strategic choice, given that the GPWF oozes climate change denialism.[3]

Funding

The GWPF website states that the foundation is 'funded entirely by voluntary donations from a number of private individuals and charitable trusts. In order to make clear its complete independence, it does not accept gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company'. [4]

Dr Benny Peiser, director, in an interview with The Guardian declined to give further detail on funding or funders due to the privacy of donors:

They are all highly respected donors. But that's not our decision," he said, adding that he would need their permission to make them public. He said people could have confidence in the independence of the GWPF because donors are approved by the charity's board of trustees. [5]

In 2010, CEO produced a report entitled 'Concealing their Sources - who funds Europe’s climate change deniers?'. The GWPF was one of eight think tanks invited to disclose their funding sources in the aid of transparency; an offer they did not respond to.[6] When the COE asked GWPF‘s director, well-known sceptic Benny Peiser about funding for climate activities, he replied that ―the GWPF is not a lobbying organisation and we do not lobby or campaign on any issues. For that reason, the European Transparency Initiative (ETI) is irrelevant to us. Asked to reconsider this response Peiser chose not to reply to any further emails or phone calls. Not only are think tanks meant to be included in the lobby transparency register but GWPF‘s activities are aimed at influencing decision makers and public opinion.[7]

The Foundation secured £500,000 in funding in 2010. In its Annual Report Lord Lawson gave this justification for its continued lack of transparency:

There has been criticism in some parts of the media and elsewhere that we do not disclose the identity of our donors. In this we are not alone. Few think tanks do. Unlike most other charities, think tanks tend to operate in controversial areas, indeed, that is part of their raison d’être. It is understandable that donors do not wish to be publicly engaged in controversy. This is particularly true of GWPF, where the soil we till is highly controversial, and anyone who puts their head above the parapet has to be prepared to endure a degree of public vilification. For that reason we offer all our donors the protection of anonymity. [8]

Pushing fracking

In July 2017 GWPF published a shale gas briefing note by researcher Harry Wilkinson praising new developments in the UK shale gas industry namely the approval of several planning permissions but argued that 'significant barriers to progress' remained. These included: 'misinformation campaigns, the planning system, and policy barriers have proven to be key factors.

The GWPF is calling on the Government to continue working with local communities, business leaders and regulators, to make sure Britain will have a thriving shale sector that will exploit the full potential of the massive UK shale resources, improve energy security, reduce energy bills and bring jobs and growth to local communities. [9]

People

Board of Trustees

Nigel Lawson (Chairman) | Edward Atkin Terence Mordaunt Neil Record

circa 2010

Joel Barnett | Peter Forster | Bernard Donoughue | Robert Fellowes | Martin Jacomb | Nigel Lawson (Chairman) | Henri Lepage | Emma Nicholson | Andrew Turnbull |

Academic Advisory Council

Samuel Brittan | Ian Byatt | Freeman Dyson | Christian Gerondeau | David Henderson | Terence Kealey | Anthony Kelly | Richard Lindzen | Alan Peacock | Ian Plimer (adviser Galileo Movement [15] Gwyn Prins | Paul Reiter | Philip Stott | Richard Tol | David Whitehouse |

Lobbyists

External resources

Contacts

Address: 55 Tufton Street, London SW1P 3QL
Website: http://www.thegwpf.org

Notes

  1. Global Warming Policy Foundation, "Who we are", accessed 10 February 2010
  2. GWPF website, "News", accessed 10th February 2010
  3. Concealing their sources - who funds Europe’s climate change deniers, CEO report p.6, accessed 11 February 2011
  4. The Global Warming Policy Foundation website, "[1]" accessed 10th February 2010
  5. James Randerson, "Climate sceptics: are they gaining any credence?" The Guardian, 4th December 2009, accessed 10th February 2010
  6. Concealing their sources - who funds Europe’s climate change deniers, CEO report p.2, Accessed 14 February 2011
  7. Concealing their sources - who funds Europe’s climate change deniers, CEO report p.6, Accessed 14 February 2011
  8. The Global Warming Policy Foundation, Financial Statements, Period 15 July 2009 to 31 July 2010
  9. The State of UK shale developments, published 7 July 2017
  10. CCNet Homepage, accessed 12th February 2010
  11. Energy and Environment website Home Page
  12. Lifeboat Foundation website [2]
  13. Royal Astronomical Society website [3]
  14. Spaceguard UK website[4]
  15. Ben Cubby, [http://www.smh.com.au/world/climate-change-sceptics-unwarmed-by-scientists-reassessment-of-cold-facts-20120730-23agk.html#ixzz2ckeJKDZi Climate change sceptics unwarmed by scientist's reassessment of cold facts], 31 July 2012, acc 23 August 2013