Membership Income Triples for UK’s Main Climate Science Denial Campaign Group

Membership Income Triples for UK’s Main Climate Science Denial Campaign Group
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In its latest end of year accounts, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the UK’s most prominent climate science denial group, has reported that its total income has increased by around £75,000 over the last year – an increase of almost 20 percent.

The thinktank was founded by Conservative peer Nigel Lawson in 2009, due to his concerns about “extremely damaging and harmful policies” to deal with global warming.

GWPF accounts, published last Friday on Companies House, show a rise in total income from £351,642 in 2018 to £426,244 in 2019 – an increase of £74,602.


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Furthermore, income from membership fees has increased to £24,714 – almost triple the 2018 figure of £8,871. This is the highest it’s ever been by some margin; about 40 percent more than the next highest year, which was £14,330 in 2010.

GWPF asks for “members to donate at least £100 per annum” and did not respond when DeSmog UK reached out for clarification on whether there is a set fee in place and what members receive in return. 

Income from donations outside of membership fees in 2019 totalled £397,384.

GWPF, the Charity

The GWPF is famously secretive about its funding sources, and is under no obligation to reveal where it gets its income.

It has previously defended its donors’ right to financial anonymity saying, “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”. 

DeSmog and others have previously revealed some of the organisation’s funders, including hedge fund manager Sir Michael Hintze, currency trader and chairman of the libertarian Institute of Economic Affairs Neil Record, and Lord Nigel Vinson. Hintze and Record are also both major Conservative Party donors.

The 2019 accounts show the foundation spent £345,632 on “charitable activities”, up by £46,388 from the previous year

In September 2014, concerns about the political stance of the GWPF were raised to the Charity Commission, which concluded that the charity lacked balance and neutrality.

In a case report, the Charity Commission found that “the website could not be regarded as a comprehensive and structured educational resource sufficient to demonstrate public benefit”.

In response, Lawson launched the Global Warming Policy Forum, a non-charitable arm of the foundation to be used for campaigning purposes.

Celebrating Climate Inaction

In a statement accompanying the report, GWPF director Benny Peiser claimed the foundation had “an incredibly busy and productive time” over the reporting period.

Peiser singled out the election victories of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and Australian PM Scott Morrison, adding: “the last 12 months have seen a number of international, high-profile defeats for carbon taxes and other policies aimed at fighting global warming.”

Peiser also discussed the energy tax protests in France and the impact of the “gilets jaunes” on the UN climate conference in Poland which “subsequently failed to make any real progress,” he claimed.

The GWPF did not respond to DeSmog’s request to comment on this story.


For more information on the Global Warming Policy Foundation, see the organisation’s full profile in DeSmog’s Disinformation Database.


Image Credit: Screenshot of GWPF Financial Statement 2019 on Companies House

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