Conservative MP Steve Baker has joined the UK’s principal climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).
Announcing his appointment to the GWPF’s board of trustees on Twitter, Baker said he was “delighted” to accept the invitation from the group’s founder, Lord Nigel Lawson. Lawson, who was previously the Group’s chair, announced he was stepping back from its activities in 2019.
Baker said he joined the group because “if ministers don’t obtain and maintain the consent of the public for Net Zero now with full and frank explanations of the costs and changes ahead, eventually there will be a terrible revolt.” In March 2021, polling showed five in six U.K. adults thought that addressing climate change was very or fairly important, while three in four wanted politicians to prioritise the issue.
The GWPF was founded in 2009 to combat what it described as “extremely damaging and harmful policies” designed to mitigate climate change. The group repeatedly rejects the findings of mainstream climate science, including arguing that global temperatures are not rising and accusing the world’s leading body on climate science, the IPCC of bad science that is beholden to policymakers.
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Baker has numerous connections to individuals affiliated with the GWPF.
He was closely involved with Lawson in Conservatives for Britain, a campaign group that lobbied then Prime Minister David Cameron, to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in 2015. He then worked with GWPF advisor Viscount Matt Ridley and GWPF trustee Labour MP Graham Stringer on the official pro-Brexit campaign, Vote Leave.
Baker is former chair of the European Research Group (ERG) of pro-hard Brexit MPs, members of which included Jacob Rees Mogg and John Redwood, who have both dismissed mainstream scientific predictions about climate change. He was a Brexit minister from 2017 to 2018. Baker described himself as a “Brexit hard man” in an interview with Sky News in 2019.
A DeSmog investigation last year found a number of individuals from groups associated with the GWPF, which have pushed for rolling back environmental regulations after the UK left the EU, had been appointed to advise the Government on its post-Brexit trade policy.
Steve Baker has been approached for comment.