Sacked environment secretary Owen Paterson is to deliver a lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the UK’s leading climate-sceptic campaign group.
Paterson was removed from his post as a part of a government reshuffle this week, after a reign plagued by controversies.
Critics gathered when Paterson voted against an EU ban on pesticides proven to kill crucial bee species, when he was slow to respond to the worst floods in decades, and when he launched a failed and “inhumane” badger cull to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis.
But it was Paterson’s claims that climate change would benefit the UK, made in September last year, that attracted the most ridicule.
Campaigners called for Paterson’s head, slamming the government for appointing a climate change sceptic to a role so important to the fight to curb global warming.
Now it has been announced, just days after his sacking, that he will speak at the GWPF’s private annual lecture in October, environmentalists say Paterson’s beliefs have been confirmed.
“This is beyond satire, and confirms that Owen Paterson was never fit to hold the post of environment secretary,” said Friends of the Earth campaigner Guy Shrubsole.
“Liz Truss [Paterson’s replacement] must make a clean break with her predecessor by backing urgent action to slash emissions, and by speaking to scientists and experts – not the climate quacks at the GWPF.”
The GWPF and its representatives have also frequently come under fire for spreading misleading information.
After recent scrutiny from the Charity Commission, the foundation has announced that it will now launch a new political arm, funded separately from its education arm and not covered by the same regulations.
The Charity Commission said the foundation’s activities “breached what is expected of an educational charity”.
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