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Global Warming Policy Foundation
The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is the United Kingdom's most high-profile climate denier group. It opposes action to mitigate climate change. Founded by Nigel Lawson, it is a registered educational charity "deeply concerned about the costs and other implications of many of the policies currently being advocated" to mitigate global warming.
Although founder Lawson claims to accept that anthropogenic global warming is occurring, this acceptance appears to be "considerably less than half-hearted;" the GWPF webpage banner image sports a short-term (2001-2010) temperature graph (blue, below) giving the appearance that the world is not warming.
Compare the 10-year GWPF graph (blue) to the longer-term graphs to the right: 1979-2010 showing the true global warming signal (with natural variability removed) and 1880-2010 (including natural variability).
- 1 Start Up
- 2 Funding not transparent; just 1.6% comes from memberships
- 3 Charitable Status
- 4 Actions
- 5 Location
- 6 Personnel
- 7 Others involved
- 8 Articles and resources
The GWPF was founded, curiously, at the same time as the climategate emails were released on the University of Tomsk's server. At the time of its foundation the average age of its trustees was 74. Chairman Nigel Lawson stated "We will certainly be actively involved in monitoring what is being said, in correcting errors where the are errors. The only thing we will not be actively engaged in is what are the causes of the temperature changes on the planet: how much is CO2, how much is solar radiation, how much is cosmic rays. We won't be getting into all that."
Funding not transparent; just 1.6% comes from memberships
The Global Warming Policy Foundation does not reveal where its funding comes from. In their first years accounts they say "the soil we till is highly controversial, and anyone who puts their head above the parapet has to be prepared to endure a degree of public vilification. For that reason we offer all our donors the protection of anonymity". The accounts show the extent to which the secretive Foundation is funded by anonymous donors, compared with income from membership fees. Its total income for the period up to 31 July 2010 was £503,302, of which only £8,168 (or 1.6%) came from membership contributions. The foundation charges a minimum annual membership fee of £100.
The GWPF is a registered charity (Number 1131448), which gives it certain tax advantages. Its charitable objectives are stated as: "To advance the public understanding of global warming and of its possible consequences, and also of the measures taken or proposed to be taken in response to it, including by means of the dissemination of the results of the study of and research into (a) the sciences relevant to global warming (b) its impact upon the environment economies and society (c) and the above mentioned measures."
In 2014 the GWPF announced it would be setting up a separate lobbying arm, the Global Policy Warming Forum, after advice from the Charity Commission on the conflict between charitable status and political campaigning.
CRU email theft - call for enquiry
In an op-ed announcing the GWPF launch and hopefully predicting failure of the December 2009 United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, Nigel Lawson called for a high-level independent inquiry into the content of the emails stolen from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit.
After 3 govt enquiries cleared climate scientists, a denialist "enquiry" by skeptic Montford
When the three British Government enquiries into the CRU email saga were completed Dr Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation immediately announced it would to stir the issue up once more. Andrew Montford was commissioned to write an "enquiry" into the climategate emails claims and was paid £3000 for his efforts. The results were released in September 2010.
The choice of Montford was ironic given the serious inaccuracies in his book, The Hockey Stick Illusion. Furthermore the Global Warming Policy Foundation's own funding is mired in controversy whilst it enjoys charitable status, yet Montford himself is critical of what he calls 'fake charities'. In his "enquiry" Montford criticized the official enquiries for not including known skeptics on their panels. This is a distortion of the truth however, since the Parliamentary Enquiry at the least included Graham Stringer Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, a man who has consistently voted very strongly against laws to stop climate change.  Montford knows this and records a cosy chat with Stringer on his blog.
"900 papers" claim; subsequent analysis shows Exxon ties, Energy and Environment papers
In mid-April 2011, the GWPF provided "900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of "Man-Made" Global Warming (AGW) Alarm". The blog Carbon Brief analyzed them, and found that -
- 9 of the top 10 authors had ties to ExxonMobil
- "prominent scientists featured on the list didn't agree that their work supported skepticism about anthropogenic global warming - and had unsuccessfully asked for their work to be removed from similar lists in the past", and
- the most-cited journal was Energy and Environment, a journal with a very low impact factor whose editors are AGW deniers.
In November 2009, the GWPF listed:
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees includes:
- Lord Barnett
- Peter R. Forster (the Bishop of Chester)
- Lord Donoughue
- Lord Fellowes
- Martin Jacomb
- Lord Lawson (Chairman)
- Henri Lepage
- Baroness Nicholson
- Lord Andrew Turnbull
Academic Advisory Council
Academic Advisory Council members need not hold academic positions, Benny Peiser reports.
As of February 2013, members are: ,
- Adrian Berry, Viscount Camrose
- Samuel Brittan
- Ian Byatt
- Bob Carter
- Vincent Courtillot
- Freeman Dyson
- Christian Gerondeau
- Indur Goklany
- William Happer
- David Henderson
- Terence Kealey (Buckingham University)
- Anthony Kelly (GWPF)
- Deepak Lal
- Richard Lindzen
- Ross McKitrick
- Robert Mendelsohn, economics professor at Yale University
- Alan Peacock (Buckingham University)
- Ian Plimer
- Paul Reiter
- Matt Ridley, writer (Buckingham University Honourary Degree, 2003)
- Alan Rudge, electrical engineer
- Philip Stott, Professor Emeritus of Biogeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
- Richard Tol
- David Whitehouse, writer
Former members include:
The following persons have written reports published by the GWPF, or given lectures sponsored by the GWPF, but are not otherwise part of the group's formal structure.
- Phillip Mueller
- Indur Goklany
- Gordon Hughes
- Peter Lilley
- Fritz Varenholt
- Andrew Montford
- Christopher Booker
- Cardinal George Pell
Articles and resources
- The voices of climate change sceptics. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
- Launched today!. www.thegwpf.org. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
- Strip away the figleaf and reveal naysayers. timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
- Foster & Rahmstorf graph via ThinkProgress, , by Joe Romm, dated 2011-12-13, accessed 2011-12-18
- Page 4 
- Carrington, Damian. "Lord Lawson's links to Europe's colossal coal polluter | guardian.co.uk", The Guardian, London: GMG. Retrieved on March 8, 2012.
- Owen Paterson to give lecture to Nigel Lawson's climate-sceptic thinktank. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2014-07-21.
- Nigel Lawson, "Copenhagen will fail – and quite right too", Times Online, November 23, 2009.
- 900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of "Man-Made" Global Warming (AGW) Alarm. GWPF (2011-04-14). Retrieved on 2011-11-03.
- Energy and Environment – “journal of choice for climate skeptics”. Carbon Brief (2011-04-21). Retrieved on 2011-11-03. “We reported last week that nine out of the top 10 authors listed by the GWPF were linked to ExxonMobil. We also discovered that prominent scientists featured on the list didn't agree that their work supported skepticism about anthropogenic global warming - and had unsuccessfully asked for their work to be removed from similar lists in the past. We used the same data analysis tools to examine where the papers on the list were published. The most cited journal by a clear margin was Energy and Environment, which provided 131 papers to the list - almost 15 percent of the total. Energy and Environment's editor Sonja-Boehmer Christiansen has said that she is "following [her] political agenda" in editing the journal, which is co-edited by Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Christiansen noted in evidence submitted to the UK Parliament that E&E has been characterised as " a journal of choice for climate skeptics," also stating: "If this [is] so, it happened by default as other publication opportunities were closed to them…"”
- Dr Benny Peiser. www.thegwpf.org. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
- Board of Trustees. www.thegwpf.org. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
- Peiser email to ahaynes, 2011-11-10
- Academic Advisory Council. www.thegwpf.org. Retrieved on 2011-12-16.
- University of California, Santa Barbara (June 2011). "Campus Notes 93106" 21 (8). Retrieved on 9 June 2011.
Related SourceWatch articles
- The GWPF website
- GWPF Profile on PowerBase
- Carbon Brief profile 
- GWPF financial statement for UK Charities Commission, dated 2011-07-31
- Charity Overview for the UK Charities Commission, accessed 11 December 2011
- GWPF calls for transparency but refuses to make public its donors
- Lawson and the think-tank bent on hijacking global warming debate http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/lawson-and-the-thinktank-bent-on-hijacking-global-warming-debate-1833142.html
- Global Warming Policy Foundation promotes shale gas on the BBC
- Bob Ward, Lord Lawson's Global Warming Policy Foundation is spreading errors, The Guardian, 21 October 2011.
- DeSmogBlog, Lord Lawson's Global Warming Policy Foundation Mistaken On Actual Facts