From the TUC

Sauce for the goose: Global Warming Policy Foundation asked to open its books

24 Jan 2012, by in Environment

The Global Warming Policy Foundation is facing a Freedom of Information request this Friday to reveal its sources of funding, reported to be £500,000 a year. The GWPF declined to open its books to the Request Initiative, which is leading the FOI appeal. In November, GWPF founder and chair, Lord Lawson, accused the Environment Secretary of failing “to provide any empirical evidence” for man’s influence on global warming, which Chris Huhne had said was getting stronger every year.

The GWPF has routinely challenged the climate science community for a lack of evidence, openness and accountability. What’s sauce for the goose…

Knowing better than the work of the thousands of eminent scientific studies contributing to the work of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, in December 2011 the GWPF published The BBC and Climate Change: A Triple BetrayalThe BBC had

“failed in its professional duty to report accurately and objectively on the issue of climate change …BBC journalists went out of their way to publicise almost every alarmist claim the promoters of the scare could come up with, even after these had been shown to be without scientific foundation.”

Lord Jay, in an introduction to the report, commented: What really needs changing is the size of the BBC.

Characteristic of the GWPF’s reportage is its coverage of a new Pew Centre study of American opinion. The recession and job insecurity are inevitably uppermost in the minds of many Americans. This is reflected in Pew’s annual poll, confirming that jobs and the economy are the main public concerns. But the GWPF, through its climate sceptic lens, finds that “global warming is last in importance with the public in 20 topics covered.” Yet the same survey shows 43% of respondents were concerned about the environment, an increase on a year ago 

There is no doubting the dip in public concern in the UK over climate change. Yet in a recent Yougov survey, 60% of respondents believe Britain “should tackle climate change” – whether unilaterally or making action conditional on the actions of others. Just under one third are not persuaded of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among opinion-formers, perhaps reflecting the GWPF’s core constituency, some 14% of Conservative supporters, 54% of Labour and 41% of Liberal Democrats view climate change as a high priority.

Former UN Human Rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson, now President of Realizing Rights, has commented on the “enormous human and social impacts – not just environmental impacts – that are resulting from climate change”.

What is dangerous climate change? The UN Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) calls for the “stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system,” (Article 2).  This is the context within which Lord Lawson’s Foundation is operating.


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