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The Global Warming Policy Foundation was launched by Lord Lawson and Dr Benny Peiser on 23 November 2009 in the House of Lords – in the run-up to the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
Introducing the new think tank, Lord Lawson explained its origin:
“Last year I brought out a book on global warming which (rather to my surprise) generated an enormous feedback, almost all of it positive. A number of those who wrote to me, who included scientists, engineers and others with an experienced background, urged me not to leave the matter there but to follow it up in some way. It was this that led me to found the think-tank we are launching today, which can achieve far more than I could on my own.”
The Global Warming Policy Foundation is unique. We are an all-party and non-party think tank and a registered educational charity which, while open-minded on the contested science of global warming, is deeply concerned about the costs and other implications of many of the policies currently being advocated.
We are in no sense ‘anti-environmental’. There is a wide range of important environmental issues, which call for an equally wide range of policy responses. Our concern is solely with the possible effects of any future global warming and the policy responses that may evoke.
The GWPF is funded overwhelmingly by voluntary donations from a number of private individuals and charitable trusts. In order to make clear its complete independence, it does not accept gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company.
We have developed a distinct set of principles that set us apart from most other stakeholders in the climate debates:
- The GWPF does not have an official or shared view about the science of global warming – although we are of course aware that this issue is not yet settled.
- On climate science, our members and supporters cover a broad range of different views, from the IPCC position through agnosticism to outright scepticism.
- Our main focus is to analyse global warming policies and their economic and other implications. Our aim is to provide the most robust and reliable economic analysis and advice.
- We regard observational evidence and understanding the present as more important and more reliable than computer modelling or predicting the distant future.
Above all we seek to inform the media, politicians and the public, in a newsworthy way, on the subject in general and on the misinformation to which they are all too frequently being subjected at the present time.
Since our launch, we have:
- encouraged media to become more balanced in its coverage of climate change
- opened the debate on climate policies among opinion formers and MPs
- contributed to the climate debates among MEPs in the European Parliament
- attracted some of the world’s top scientists and economists as members of our Academic Advisory Council
- created a popular website that is subjecting climate policies and claims by governments and campaigners to dispassionate analysis based on hard evidence and economic rigour
- incorporated and expanded CCNet, the world’s leading climate policy network, which is providing an outlet for news, intelligent analysis and in-depth reports by members of our Academic Advisory Council and others begun to shape the climate and energy debates in the UK and abroad.
The key to the success of the GWPF is the trust and credibility that we have earned in the eyes of a growing number of policy makers, journalists and the interested public. In our relationship with our members, with MPs, the media and our wider readership, it is the most important quality that we have.
This is of great relevance today in light of scientific scandals and the public’s loss of trust in climate activists and politicians. For us, public trust is our most important asset. It has been accumulated as a result of the reasoned and moderate positions we have taken, the integrity of our foundation and the credibility of our actions.
We hope you will join the GWPF and help us in our effort to restore trust and balance to the climate debate.