International Policy Network

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IPN's former offices, Bedford Chambers, in London's Covent Garden, next door to the Rock Garden

The International Policy Network (IPN) was founded by Antony Fisher in the UK as the International Institute for Economic Research (IIER) in 1971. Fisher went on to found the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the USA in 1981, and from this point the IIER traded as Atlas Foundation UK. In the USA, the Atlas Foundation provides training and funding to start libertarian think-tanks. Fisher also founded the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a pro-free market think tank based in London. The founding director of IPN, Julian Morris, was previously director of the IEA's Environment and Technology Programme. The IPN is based in an office in Bedford Chambers in King Street, Covent Garden, London.[1]

The Atlas Economic Research Foundation is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia. Atlas was established with the aim of bringing "freedom to the world" by helping "develop and strengthen a network of market-oriented think tanks that spans the globe".[2]

The IPN has addresses in London and Washington D.C. The Washington address is the same as that of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Roger Bate who is an IPN Fellow, and a long-time associate of the IPN's Director Julian Morris, is an Adjunct Fellow of the CEI. Kendra Okonski who is the IPN's 'Project Director' in London was previously a CEI researcher.

The organisation changed its name to IPN in 2001, and it expanded its operations with significant corporate funding. Its international co-directors then were Roger Bate and Julian Morris, two people who have spear-headed the pro-corporate, anti-environmental debate for over a decade in the UK, whilst supporting controversial industries. Bate co-founded the European Science and Environment Forum in 1994, which arose from the concept for a pro-biotech / tobacco, chemical industry front group in Europe funded by Philip Morris. He also solicited money of the tobacco industry for a book on risk and smoking, and Julian Morris was a witness for the GM industry Life Sciences Network at the GM Commission in New Zealand. Bate co-directed IPN until 2003.[3] Some unknown industry / industries are now funding ESEF / IPN to counter the environmental movement on a global scale.

In a March 2009 presentation Tim Montgomerie and Matthew Elliott described IPN as part of the infrastructure of the conservative movement in Britain.[4]

Sustainable Development Network

Okonski and Morris appear to be the driving force behind another organisation, the Sustainable Development Network (SDN), while Morris and Bate connect to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF).

IPN's mission is to 'share ideas that free people'. It believes in de-regulation but that 'where regulations are necessary... they should be based on sound science and good economics.'

IPN works with a network of individuals and organizations around the world who share its beliefs. The IEA and the ESEF are both on the list of the IPN's 'partner organisations'. The CEI is not currently on the list, despite sharing its Washington address with the IPN.

On 3 March 2003 IPN and Spiked Online co-sponsored a debate held at PR firm Hill and Knowlton's premises in London on "GM food: should labelling be mandatory?" The seminar was introduced by Greg Conko of the CEI. Tony Gilland of the Institute of Ideas also spoke.[5]

Former DuPont PR man and director of the Scientific Alliance Martin Livermore is an IPN Fellow.[6]

Views on Climate Change

The IPN issued a publication in 2008 considering governments' plans to cap greenhouse gas emissions as ineffective against the threat of climate change and suggesting that it would only exacerbate the global economic crisis. [7]

In a Financial Times blog response to the question, "What do you think the impact will be of US President Barack Obama’s decision to attend the summit at the end of the conference rather than the early stages?", IPN executive director Julian Morris stated that Obama would be "bask[ing] in the associated fanfare [that comes with his Nobel Peace Prize]" and "seek[ing] a new arena in which to enhance his public image"[8]. He then points out that the USA's credentials with regard to a commitment to climate change are not at all good. He explains, "In 1997, prior to the UN climate change conference in Kyoto, the Senate passed a resolution - by 95 votes to 0 - that the US should not be a signatory to any agreement which would seek to limit or reduce the US’s greenhouse gas emissions or result in serious harm to the US economy," before adding that members of Obama's administration - and British and EU officials - are currently, and have been for some months now, urging developing countries to commit to "binding restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.""[9]

Funding and Connections

Its website states, "IPN is supported entirely by charitable donations from individuals, foundations and businesses. It receives no money from any government or political parties, and it does no contract work." [10] However IPN North America reportedly received $390,000 from Exxon, including for work on climate change and climate change 'outreach' between 2002 and 2006. [11]

In 2010, IPN along with seven other European think tanks investigated by the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) were reported to not be registered, and when asked to disclose their sources of funding for climate activities, provided very little information in response. The CEO did find that IPN was funded by the late Antony Fiaher. Also, one of the IPN's predecessors, Atlas Economic Research Foundation played a role in spreading the web of Koch Industry money to Europe.[12]

When questioned by news agency IPS in 2010, Julian Morris claimed IPN had not received money from corporations or other organisations directly involved in the fossil fuel industry for the previous three years. According to Sourcewatch in 2003 and 2004 about 85 per cent of IPN's funding was from corporations.[13] According to Morris, IPN‘s annual income is around 1.4 million dollars. IPN‘s links with the Atlas Foundation and the Koch web are also clear from its board. Members include John Blundell and Linda Whetstone, the daughter of founder Anthony Whetstone is Chairman of the International Policy Network, sits also in the board of the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the Mont Pelerin Society, an international network of neoliberal intellectuals. Bridgett Wagner, head of the IPN US branch is also at the Heritage Foundation, a neoconservative US think tank very active on climate policy, which is funded by ExxonMobil.[14]


According to a Telegraph blog by Alex Singleton, the IPN was formerly (prior to January 2009) a member of the Stockholm Network, but left at an unspecified date.[15]

The UK branch of the IPN is part of the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change (CSCCC), which in its own words aims to "educate the public about the science and economics of climate change in an impartial manner." [16]


Contact, References and Resources


Rooms 200-205
Temple Chambers
3-7 Temple Avenue
London EC4Y 0HP



  1. International Policy Network website, undated, accessed March 2006
  2. Atlas Economic Research Foundation, AboutUs website, accessed 27 Oct 2009
  3. Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)Concealing their sources - who funds Europe's climate change deniers?, CEO Report p.3,Accessed 11 February 2011
  4. Tim Montgomerie, The growth of Britain's conservative movement, ConservativeHome, 14 March 2009.
  5. GM food: should labelling be mandatory?, IPN website, version placed in web archive April 23, 2004 accessed in web archive 27 Oct 2009
  6. Dr Martin Livermore,, accessed 27 Oct 2009
  7. Julian Morris,"Which Policy to Address Climate Change?", IPN, 11 December 2008, accessed 16 February 2010
  8. Julian Morris, "Obama at the Copenhagen endgame: Climate experts’ forum", Financial Times, 6 December 2009, accessed 23 February 2010
  9. Julian Morris, "Obama at the Copenhagen endgame: Climate experts’ forum", Financial Times, 6 December 2009, accessed 23 February 2010
  10. IPN website, " About IPN", About IPN, accessed 2 March 2010
  11. Exxon Secrets website [1] (accessed 3 September 2010)
  12. Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)Concealing their sources - who funds Europe's climate change deniers?, CEO Report p.4, accessed 11 February 2011
  13. Sourcewatch, IPN,, accessed 11 February 2011.
  14. Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)Concealing their sources - who funds Europe's climate change deniers?, CEO Report p.5,Accessed 11 February 2011
  15. Alex Singleton, Free-market network demands bail-out for pharmaceutical industry, Telegraph, January 19th, 2009, acc 20 May 2010
  16. CSCCC, " About CSCCC" CSCCC website, accessed 16 March 2010