A poll in The Sun that claims 44 percent of the British public supports fracking was paid for by a climate science denial group, DeSmog can report.
The survey was published in The Sun this week (5 April) with the headline “FRACKING IS FINE: Nearly half of voters are in favour of lifting fracking ban” and referenced in the “Sun Says” editorial column. The story did not include any information about who was behind the poll.
But the survey was commissioned by Net Zero Watch (NZW) – the campaign arm of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) – which last week released a paper calling for renewable energy from wind and solar to be “wound down” completely and for coal-fired power stations to be kept open.
It comes ahead of the UK government unveiling its new energy strategy on Thursday and after the latest report from UN climate body, the IPCC, warned that there are only 30 months left in which to make “immediate and deep” cuts to emissions to keep global warming below 1.5C.
The survey – promoted on Twitter by NZW – uses questions which set the UK’s 2050 net zero target up against “national security” and the cost of household bills.
The findings of the survey, which was carried out by Savanta Comres, is out of step with previous polls, including government research last year that found just 17 percent of the public support hydraulic fracturing – fracking – for shale gas, with 45 percent against.
The press release for the NZW poll includes quotes from Steve Baker MP, a former Brexit minister, and Craig Mackinlay MP, who are deputy chair and chair of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG) of backbench MPs.
DeSmog has previously revealed how NZW/GWPF is working with these backbench MPs to oppose the UK’s 2050 net zero target and push for continued use of fossil fuels, with particular stress on overturning the UK’s 2019 moratorium on fracking.
NZW chair Neil Record recently donated £5,000 to Baker, while NZW head of policy Harry Wilkinson is a parliamentary aide to Mackinlay, who also provided a quote for NZW’s anti-renewables paper last week.
Earlier this week, Mackinlay wrote a piece in Conservative Home on the need to persuade the public to support fracking.
In November, Lord Lawson, a NZW board member who founded the GWPF, wrote an article in which he asserted that “global warming is not a problem”, defended the continued use of fossil fuels, and said “decarbonisation, in short, would be an unparalleled economic calamity”.
The Sun has been contacted for comment.
You can explore our profiles of climate science deniers in DeSmog’s Climate Disinformation Database.