Climate science denial campaign group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has apparently been left with a hole in its finances after a major donor did not renew its funding.
The Atkin Charitable Foundation had given the GWPF £20,000 each year between 2012 and 2016. But the foundation pulled its funding in 2017, its latest accounts filed with the Charity Commission show.
The GWPF was founded by climate science denier Nigel Lawson in 2009 with the purpose of combating what the foundation describes as “extremely damaging and harmful policies” designed to mitigate climate change.
The Atkin Charitable Foundation was set up in February 2006 to fund efforts towards the “relief of poverty, distress and sickness, the advancement of education, the protection of health and for any other charitable purpose”, according to its annual trustees’ report.
Edward Atkin sits on both the Atkin Charitable Foundation and GWPF’s board of trustees. He made his money through selling his baby-feeding business Aventa for £300 million in 2005.
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Atkin is a major Conservative Party donor, having donated almost £230,000 to the party since 2002, according to Electoral Commission data.
Atkin also donated £2,000 to Boris Johnson’s London mayoral campaign in 2008. Johnson is a significant part of a network of politicians and lobbyists pushing disinformation on climate change and for Brexit, which DeSmog UK previously mapped.
Johnson has flirted with climate science denial over the years. In a Telegraph column in 2013,he said a cold snap in weather casts doubt on the science. Then, writing in the Telegraph in December 2015, he argued recent warm winter weather had nothing to do with climate change.
In both columns he referred to the “great physicist and meteorologist Piers Corbyn” – brother of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and a well-known climate science denier.
The Atkin Charitable Foundation and GWPF have been contacted for comment.
Image: Chatham House/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0