Non-profit

Global Warming Policy Foundation

Website:

www.thegwpf.org/%20

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Formation:

2009

Founders:

Nigel Lawson, Benny Peiser

Type:

Non-profit

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is a right-of-center environmental policy charity based in the United Kingdom that receives the majority of its revenue from private donations, membership fees, and investments. The organization’s expenses mostly go towards “charitable activities.” [1]

The GWPF does not deny that the greenhouse gas effect exists, nor does it deny that carbon emissions affect the climate, but it pushes for a less “hysterical” and “emotional” debate on the issue of climate change. [2]

Trustees of the GWPF include former Sustainability Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Dr. Chris Gibson-Smith, and former executive board chairman for wind and renewable energy divisions in Germany, Fritz Vahrenholt. [3][4]

Background

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is a right-of-center climate skeptic educational charity based in the United Kingdom that was created by Nigel Lawson and Benny Peiser in November 2009 three days after the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) controversy, also known as “Climategate,” became public. It is not officially affiliated with a political party in the U.K. [5]

The Climategate controversy began when a “sophisticated and carefully orchestrated” online hack was launched on the CRU, a climate research center in the United Kingdom. [6] The hackers obtained more than 1,000 emails and 3,000 documents and posted several of those emails online. The emails that were made public supported critics’ allegations that scientific data had been manipulated to show humans had created climate change. [7]

The content of the emails led to the accusation that climate change experts “are more dedicated to promoting the alarmist political agenda than in scientific research,” but was also defended by the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, whose director at the time claimed that climate change skeptics were taking the emails “out of context to make something trivial appear nefarious.” [8]

According to Lawson, GWPF is “open-minded on the contested science of global warming,” but is also concerned about the costs and implications of governmental policies surrounding the issue. Lawson also added that the Global Warming Policy Foundation will not be actively explaining the causes of climate change but will be “actively involved in monitoring what is being said, in correcting errors where there are errors.” The GWPF does not deny the greenhouse gas effect exists, nor that carbon emissions affect the climate, but it pushes for a less “hysterical” and “emotional” debate on the issue of climate change. [9]

Two members of the board of trustees for the Global Warming Policy Foundation have worked for environmental and sustainability sectors in government including Dr. Chris Gibson-Smith, an earth scientist and former Sustainability Commissioner in the United Kingdom, and Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, who in Germany was a group leader for air pollution control, waste and environmental sustainability in the Ministry of the Environment, senator of the Hamburg Environmental Authority, and has been the executive board chairman for wind and renewable energy divisions in the country. [10][11]

The Global Warming Policy Foundation also created a separate “campaigning body” which can promote “opinions and policy change” called the Global Warming Policy Forum, and a fundraising arm based in the United States called American Friends of the GWPF. [12]

Funding

The Global Warming Policy Foundation receives most of its revenue from private donations, although it is largely unknown who donates to the organization.

The GPWF received a total revenue of £298,114 (approximately $414,526) in 2017 with £284,141 (around $395,096) received in the form of private donations. The organization received an increase in total revenue of £351,642 (around $488,956) in 2018, with £339,893 (approximately $472,619) of that amount coming from private donations. The Global Warming Policy Foundation had a total expenditure of £242,846 (around $337,676) in 2017, and £351,804 (approximately $489,101) in 2018. The majority of expenses of the GWPF go towards “charitable activities.” [13]

Although there is no official record of who funds the Global Warming Policy Foundation due to the organization being an “educational charity,” meaning it is not required to disclose its financial backers, two of its donors have confirmed they have given the GWPF money in the past.

Neil Record, the founding chairman of a currency management company Record and a trustee of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), confirmed that he gave £36,000 (approximately $50,000) to the GWPF to support a seminar held by Nigel Lawson on the same day of the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s creation. [14]

Another confirmed donor and vice-president of the IEA, Nigel Vinson, donated £15,000 (around $20,800) to the organization, adding that he was “very proud to fund” the Global Warming Policy Foundation as “you have to put a question mark over climate change if over the last 14 years the world has not got any hotter.” [15]

References

  1. “Global Warming Policy Center Statement of Financial Activities – 2018/2017,” gov.uk, accessed April 28, 2021, shorturl.at/gpFIP. ^
  2. “Global Warming Policy Foundation,” DeSmog UK, accessed April 28, 2021, https://www.desmog.co.uk/global-warming-policy-foundation. ^
  3. “Curriculum Vitae Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt,” Curriculum Vitae Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, accessed April 28, 2021, https://www.aurubis.com/en/about-aurubis/company/management%5B2%5D/cv-prof.-vahrenholt. ^
  4. “Board of Trustees: The Global Warming Policy Foundation,” thegwpf.org, accessed April 28, 2021, https://www.thegwpf.org/who-we-are/board-of-trustees/. ^
  5. “Global Warming Policy Foundation,” DeSmog UK, accessed April 28, 2021, https://www.desmog.co.uk/global-warming-policy-foundation. ^
  6. “Norfolk Constabulary: Police Closes UEA Investigation,” Norfolk Constabulary: Police closes UEA investigation, accessed April 28, 2021, https://web.archive.org/web/20120719071718/http://www.norfolk.police.uk/newsevents/newsstories/2012/july/ueadatabreachinvestigation.aspx. ^
  7. “Hackers Steal Electronic Data from Top Climate Research Center,” The Washington Post (WP Company, November 21, 2009), https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/20/AR2009112004093.html. ^
  8. “Hackers Steal Electronic Data from Top Climate Research Center,” The Washington Post (WP Company, November 21, 2009), https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/20/AR2009112004093.html. ^
  9. “Global Warming Policy Foundation,” DeSmog UK, accessed April 28, 2021, https://www.desmog.co.uk/global-warming-policy-foundation. ^
  10. “Curriculum Vitae Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt,” Curriculum Vitae Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, accessed April 28, 2021, https://www.aurubis.com/en/about-aurubis/company/management%5B2%5D/cv-prof.-vahrenholt. ^
  11. “Board of Trustees: The Global Warming Policy Foundation,” thegwpf.org, accessed April 28, 2021, https://www.thegwpf.org/who-we-are/board-of-trustees/. ^
  12. “Global Warming Policy Foundation,” DeSmog UK, accessed April 28, 2021, https://www.desmog.co.uk/global-warming-policy-foundation. ^
  13. “Global Warming Policy Center Statement of Financial Activities – 2018/2017,” gov.uk, accessed April 28, 2021, shorturl.at/gpFIP. ^
  14. “Two Secret Funders of Nigel Lawson’s Climate Sceptic Organisation Revealed,” The Guardian (Guardian News and Media, September 2, 2014), https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/02/nigel-lawson-climate-sceptic-organisation-funders. ^
  15. “Two Secret Funders of Nigel Lawson’s Climate Sceptic Organisation Revealed,” The Guardian (Guardian News and Media, September 2, 2014), https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/02/nigel-lawson-climate-sceptic-organisation-funders. ^
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Global Warming Policy Foundation


London,
United Kingdom