Two funders of the controversial climate-sceptic thinktank the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which was set up in 2009 by Lord Lawson, have been revealed. Neil Record and Lord Nigel Vinson are the first funders of the secretive organisation to be confirmed.
The two names were revealed by the blog Desmog UK. Record is a trustee of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a free market thinktank, and is the founding chairman of a specialist currency management company. Vinson also has links to the IEA and was made life vice president of the organisation, while also helping to set up the free market thinktank Centre for Policy Studies.
The philanthropist and founder of asset management firm CQS Sir Michael Hintze has also been linked to GWPF, although he has not confirmed his involvement with the organisation.
GWPF has faced criticism for its some views, such as its claims that children are being “brainwashed” with green propaganda whilst at school. The BBC faced scorn after a debate between scientists Brian Hoskins and Lawson earlier this year, with the organisation later telling journalists to stop giving excessive airtime to unqualified critics of climate science.
Speaking to the Guardian, Vinson said, “I am very proud to fund [the GWPF]. You have to put a question mark over climate change if over the last 14 years the world had not got any hotter.”
Climate sceptics often state that global warming has stopped since 1998, arguing that temperatures have not increased since this point. However, research has suggested that this is not the case, instead finding climate change has manifested in different ways, while gaps in data may be responsible for some discrepancies.
Record also told the Guardian that he considered the contribution of the GWPF to the climate change debate as “very positive in assisting balance and rationality in this contentious area”.
The GWPF was forced to restructure in July after the Charity Commission ruled its purpose was political, not charitable. As a result the organisation, which is a registered charity, launched a political arm that will be funded separately.
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