CC Screenshot of thegwpf.org
Please note, this page has been archived since 2011 and will
not be updated.
The Global Warming Policy
Foundation was formed in November 2009. Coincidentally this was
at the height of media interest in the 'Climategate' scandal, in which emails
between climate scientists at the University of East Anglia were
hacked and published.
Dr Benny Peiser is the director of the foundation, which has a
of "bring[ing] reason, integrity and balance to a debate that
has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too
often depressingly intolerant". Spokespeople from the GWPF have
been quoted extensively in the media. The GWPF is
registered as an educational charity.
The foundation's Board
of Trustees include its chairman, the Conservative former
energy minister and chancellor Lord (Nigel) Lawson; Lord Barnett and Lord
Donoughue of the Labour party; and Baroness (Emma) Nicholson of the
Liberal Democrats. Other Trustees include Sir Martin Jacomb, former
chancellor of Britain's first private university, the University of
Buckingham; the Rt Rev Peter Forster the Bishop of Chester; and
Lord Turnbull, a former Cabinet Secretary and former Head of the
Home Civil Service.
The foundation also has an
Academic Advisory Council, which is chaired by Professor David
Henderson, a fellow of the neo-liberal thinktank the Institute
of Economic Affairs. Members include the Telegraph's consulting
editor on science Adrian Berry (Vicount Camrose); Sir Samuel
Brittan, an economic commentator for the Financial Times; and
Matthew Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist.
Bob Ward, of
the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment,
"Some of those names are straight from
the Who's Who of current climate change sceptics. To me, this is
pretty much indistinguishable from the websites that are run by
rightwing, free-market thinktanks in the US. It's just going to be
a way of pumping material into the debate that hasn't been through
It is not clear who funds the foundation. The GWPF has an
expected annual budget of £200,000, and has been actively seeking a
consultant fundraiser. The GWPF has informed the charity commission
in writing that "[the GWPF] will not accept donations from energy
companies or from individuals with a significant interest in oil
companies." The foundation has also stated that any donation
greater than £50,000 will be "referred to the trustees for
approval." To date the GWPF has declined to reveal the source of
seed donations of £50,000.
author of An Appeal to Reason, A Cool Look at Global Warming,
registered the charity, registered its website address and shares
its lawyers, Farrer & Co. The GWPF has
offices with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
When questioned by MPs during the Science and Technology committee
inquiry into the CRU emails, Lord Lawson refused to say who had
donated to the foundation. He said when asked:
"In football this is called playing the man and not the ball. You
get a yellow card for that." He has been quoted by the website
Left Foot Forward as stating the seed donor is
"a private individual, who wished to remain anonymous."
is chairman of Central Europe Trust
Ltd, which on its website states it
represents clients including BP Amoco, Texaco and Royal Dutch/Shell
Group. This prompted Lord Prescott to say in Parliament of the
"From what I can see of it, it is not so much a thinktank as a
petrol tank." Lawson has said that there are no links between
the foundation and his chairmanship. In a letter responding to Lord
Prescott, then Deputy Prime Minister, dated November 2009, he
states: "[CET Ltd] has not, in fact, had any oil company
clients for many years now, and at the present time its only
involvement in the energy sector is a small interest in wind and
The foundation has been quoted widely in the media since its
inception. Most statements made question the wisdom of policy
designed to mitigate climate change, or challenge the robustness of
climate science practice. The spokespeople for the foundation are
and Dr Benny Peiser.
There have been some questions about the credibility of the
Global Warming Policy foundation as a balanced arbiter of climate
science. Dr Peiser was
quoted in the Times on December 1, 2009 criticising NASA
research in the following terms: "The predictions come in
thick and fast, but we take them all with a pinch of salt. We look
out of the window and it's very cold, it doesn't seem to be
warming. We're very concerned that 100-year policies are being made
on the basis of these predictions." Days later Dr Peiser was
quoted in the Guardian stating: "We are certainly not
taking a critical stance on the basic science of the greenhouse
effect or the fact that CO2 emissions in the atmosphere are having
an effect on climate."
The robustness of information supplied by the foundation has
also been challenged. A graphic used on the website at the launch
of the foundation was
criticized for showing an inaccurate temperature in 2003.
Although now corrected, the graphic still present on the website shows a decline in
temperature from 2001 to 2008; misrepresenting the overall
trend in rising temperatures by cherry-picking just a few years
of data to create a negative trend. The first decade in this
century was in fact the
warmest decade in the instrumental record, containing six of the
hottest years on record.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation
published a review of the three separate independent inquiries
into the University of East Anglia emails, which they commissioned
Andrew Montford, author of the The Hockey Stick Illusion:
Climategate and the Corruption of Science, to write for a fee of
£3000. Montford, a chartered accountant, stated at the launch of
the publication: "I'm partisan in this argument. There is no
There are a number of links between the GWPF and the University
of Buckingham, Britain's first private university. The university
was founded with the assistance of neo-liberal thinktank The
Institute of Economic Affairs, which provided the "intellectual
framework for the creation of Buckingham as a university". Sir
Martin Jacomb is on the Board of Trustees for the foundation
and was until earlier this year chancellor of the university.
Dr Terence Kealey who sits on the academic advisory council of
the foundation, is vice-chancellor of the university.
Dr Peiser is a visiting fellow at the university. Philipp
Mueller, who has been recently employed by the foundation as
assistant director and is responsible for media enquiries,
graduated from the University of Buckingham with an MA from the
Global Affairs Programme.