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The International Policy
Network (IPN) is an influential UK thinktank which "aims to bring down
barriers to enterprise and trade, in order to achieve a world of
opportunity, peace and prosperity."
The IPN founded and co-ordinates the Civil Society Coalition on
Climate Change, a worldwide network of right-wing thinktanks opposing
action on climate change. Amongst their UK member organisations are
The Taxpayers Alliance and The Adam Smith Institute. Julian Morris
said when setting up the coalition: "Interest groups exaggerate
the threat of climate change in order to support their call for
urgent global and national regulation of carbon emissions."
The IPN received
at least $50,000, from ExxonMobil's "climate change outreach"
programme, the Daily Telegraph reported in 2004. In August 2010,
the IPN produced a document titled
"seven myths about green jobs". The report
draws on work which was originally funded by the Institute of
Energy Research, which in turn has received
funding from ExxonMobil.
Julian Morris, the
executive director of IPN, has
described Sir David King, a former chief scientist to the
government who has campaigned for action on global warming, as "an
embarrassment to himself and an embarrassment to his country."
Morris addressed the 2008 Heartland Institute's
global gathering of climate sceptics.
Morris was named in a
funding application to tobacco company RJ Reynolds, as the
proposed co-editor of a book aiming to 'highlight the uncertainties
inherent in 'scientific' estimates of risk to humans and the
environment resulting from exposure to certain hazards.' One of the
included hazards was passive smoking. The book was eventually
edited by Morris' co-director Roger Bate, with Morris
named in the acknowledgements.
The IPN has received
funding from the world's largest tobacco companies.
Morris has argued that "Most of our more than 200 donors are
individuals. We also accept support from foundations and
businesses, but we do not accept funding from government or
political parties. We conceive and implement our own projects. Our
donors have no influence on what we say or how we say it."
Between 2001 and 2003 Morris' co-director at IPN was Roger
Bate. Bate has held a variety of positions in conservative
think tanks in the UK and in the US, including at the
Institute of Economic Affairs and the Competitive
Enterprise Institute. Bate was a founding Director of Africa Fighting Malaria,
a pro-DDT lobby group. In 1998 Bate wrote to Philip Morris asking
for funding for the new organization and offering his services as a
influencing the WHO on their tobacco protocol". He has said
that he was "never a
tobacco lobbyist". The legacy
Tobacco Documents however demonstrate that he had
numerous associations with Philip Morris throughout the
Bate is listed as an adviser to the Exxon funded '
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow' , a US based libertarian
climate sceptic group which runs the website Climate Depot,
and which co-sponsored the '
Copenhagen Climate Challenge', a sceptic gathering that ran in
parallel to the UN climate summit. In 2000, Bate told the
Today programme that cutting carbon emissions had been "folly
Whetstone is chair of the IPN. Whetstone is a trustee of the
Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the influential free-market
founded by her father, Antony
Fisher also set up the Atlas Foundation and the Institute of
Economic Affairs and helped in the early stages of the Manhattan
Institute, the Pacific Research Institute and the Fraser Institute.
Linda Whetstone is a past chair and president of her
local Conservative Party association, and is married to a
Linda's daughter Rachel Whetstone is vice-president
of public affairs for Google. Rachel Whetstone
is married to Steve Hilton, David Cameron's director of
strategy and former
chief of staff to Michael Howard while he was Conservative
leader. Rachel is a trustee
for Policy Exchange, the think tank said to be closest to David
Cameron, and a former lobbyist
for Portland PR.
Okonski is an environment and development analyst for IPN and a
prominent spokesperson for the think thank. Okonski is a
former research assistant for the influential US-based Competitive
Enterprise Institute, which
promotes climate scepticism in the US, and which has received
millions of dollars in funding from ExxonMobil and