During the last three years, the GWPF has since remained one of the most complained about charities registered by the commission, with members of the public concerned it was driving a climate denial agenda.
, the communications director at the Grantham Research Institute
on Climate Change and the Environment, has complained that information on the GWPF
was inaccurate and fell short of the standards expected of a national educational charity.
He told The Guardian
: “Now that it has been found in breach of the Charity Commission’s rules, it is telling that the foundation has decided not to comply, but instead to set up a campaign arm to continue to disseminate inaccurate and misleading information and to lobby against climate policies.”
The commission has found that the GWPF “promoted a particular position” rather than providing unbiased information on the issue of climate change.
The Operational Compliance Report states that “The Commission found that taken as a whole, it was difficult not to form the conclusion that the publications and postings on the charity’s website promoted a particular position on global warming.”
“The website could not be regarded as a comprehensive and structured educational resource sufficient to demonstrate public benefit.”
“In areas of controversy, education requires balance and neutrality, with sufficient weight given to competing arguments. The promotion of a particular view or position would not equate to education.”
The findings were reached despite the protestations of the GWPF‘s supporters. “The trustees considered that by also publishing counter-arguments, amongst others, it was advancing education and that its website acted as an educational or public resource.”
The Charity Commission states that the issue was resolved with the co-operation of the trustees of the GWPF. This led to the foundation of the GWPF this month.
The report concluded: “It is not unusual for organisations, or groups of organisations, to have charitable and non-charitable arms.”
“Such structures allow organisations to carry out activities that are not capable of being charitable without compromising the legal status of the charitable arm.”
“In such situations, it is important that the charitable arms of these organisations maintain their independence.”