John Constable

John Constable


  • B.A., English, Magdalene College, Cambridge. [1]
  • Ph.D., English, Cambridge University. [1]


John Constable is the Energy Editor of the Global Warming Policy Forum, campaign arm of the climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). Constable was appointed to the position five months before joining the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council. [2], [3], [4]

Constable previously had privileged access to parliament by being registered as a member of staff for another GWPF academic advisory council member, Viscount Matt Ridley, from June 2017. Constable’s accreditation lists him as director of TAXA publishing and does not mention his role with the GWPF. [5]

Constable has been a vocal critic of government energy policy and has long opposed subsidies for renewable energy. He was chairman of a local anti-wind farm campaign group called NOWAP until it was dissolved in 2014. [11], [12], [13], [14]

Constable came under fire in 2015 when it was revealed he would be heading a new research unit called the Buckingham Energy Institute at the private University of Buckingham, which the free-market think-tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), was influential in establishing. [7], [15]

Constable has written for the think-tank Civitas on environmental policy, claiming that a shift to renewable power would make the economy stagnate. A 2013 report by Constable was dismissed by the Department for Energy and Climate Change as a “manifesto for imported gas,” rejecting the argument that energy bills would soar due to green policies. [16], [17]

Along with the GWPF, Civitas is among the cluster of organisations based at 55 Tufton Street which broadly share a pro-deregulation, free-market outlook, and have been heavily involved in campaigning for Brexit. [18]

Renewable Energy Foundation

Constable was previously Director of Policy and Research at the anti-wind energy campaign group, the Renewable Energy Foundation, whose funding sources are currently unknown. A 2011 report by Constable was funded by ScottishPower Energy People Trust and a 2012 report was commissioned by Calor Gas Ltd. TV presenter Noel Edmonds set up the group and served as chairman when his Devon home became threatened by a windfarm development. [6], [7], [8], [9], [10]

The Renewable Energy Foundation was the subject of a complaint related to its campaigning activities which led to a meeting with the Charity Commission to “discuss amending its objects to accurately reflect the charity’s activities and purposes.” [6]

Stance on Climate Change

January 19, 2021

Constable wrote an article for the Global Warming Policy Foundation criticising the government’s plans to build an offshore wind farm off the Norfolk and Yorkshire coasts, claiming that it would lead to the extinction of the Kittiwake bird. He stated: [36]

 “Environmentalism may seem to be triumphant at present, but in fact it is in a state of physical and moral collapse, being pushed back in fragile marine ecologies, in remote wilderness and in unique environments around the world by metal bashers and concrete pourers building the “low-carbon economy”. And so-called environmentalists are helping them in a grim bureaucratic parody of sincere love for the natural world. Environmentalism is dead.”

The Foundation’s Director, Benny Peiser, also wrote a letter to Sir David Attenborough calling for him to intervene to reverse the government’s decision, claiming that the government had “set aside the protection afforded by Natura 2000 to the resting and nesting sites of Kittiwake on the East Coast,” and that the decision “sets a distorting and irrational precedent.” [37]

April 2016

When asked during a government committee session whether the country might go back to carbon-based energy generation, Constable stated: “It is entirely conceivable… I am certain we will need to build combined cycle gas turbines.” [19]

March 30, 2015

Responding to criticism of his track record on campaigning against renewable energy, Constable told the Independent: [7]

There is a strong case for reducing emissions as part of an insurance policy against climate change. However, the premium for that insurance policy must be affordable and proportional to the risk.” [7]

June 2012

In a debate on wind power, Constable accused the green movement of “bullying OECD governments into adopting legal mandates for low carbon solutions that are technically primitive and consequently ludicrously expensive.” [20]

Key Quotes

August 10, 2017

In an article entitled “The Scottish wind power racket”, co-written with Matt Ridley and published on the CapX website, run by the Thatcherite Centre for Policy Studies think tank, Constable claimed wind farms “aren’t welcome” in Scotland, arguing that “the Government in Westminster should put its foot down, in the interests of us all, and stop Holyrood consenting new wind farms and extensions in Scotland.” [21]

February 2016

In an article entitled “Revealed: the great wind farm tax ‘con’” Constable told the Sunday Telegraph that government support for onshore wind power is “just spin doctor stuff, it’s playing with words.” Constable had recently joined the Global Warming Policy Forum as energy editor. [22]

May 2013

In a Civitas report Constable states that shifting to renewable energy would mean, “more people would be working for lower wages in the energy sector, energy costs would rise, the economy would stagnate, and there would be a significant decline in the standard of living.” [16]

Key Actions

June 1, 2021

Constable wrote a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation which argued that building large scale solar panel farms on agricultural land should be discouraged. The report claimed that “Current guidance in the planning system relating to ground-mounted solar projects is around ten years old and obsolete.” It also cautioned that “Conversion of agricultural land to solar photovoltaic generation on the scales described above is not in the public interest.” [43]

May 29, 2021

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Constable was quoted in an article criticising the expansion of solar panel farms, which it described as “woefully inefficient at their only job – which is to generate electricity amid the cloud and rain of north-west Europe”. The article quoted Constable as saying: “The net-zero drive is so insensitive to cost and environmental damage, a lot of very strange things are happening.” He added: “We’re preparing to lose a large part of British farmland to a second-rate electricity scheme.” [42]

Constable also argued that establishing solar farms functioned as a pretext for profiteering developers to accrue large tracts of land and obtain batteries to store power, stating: “These batteries can store solar power, but owners will also use them to buy and store energy from the Grid when it’s cheap and then resell for a much higher price when it’s in demand.” He added: “’The fact it is very expensive for the consumer is neither here nor there. The solar schemes are almost incidental.”

February 23, 2021

Constable wrote a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation which criticised a Statutory Regulation which had come into force in April 2019, making it illegal for businesses to misreport their carbon dioxide emissions. Constable stated: “Criminalisation is disproportionate to the magnitude of the breach of regulations, discourages entrepreneurial activity, increases business overheads, and creates a legal pressure point for vexatious ‘lawfare.’” [40]

The press release accompanying the report quoted the GWPF’s Director, Benny Peiser, who criticised the Conservative Party for implementing this legislation. He stated: “The Conservatives are still widely seen as supporters of entrepreneurial private ownership. In reality they have often pursued a quasi-socialist agenda that puts climate activists first. This legislation is deeply illiberal and a threat to future investment, innovation and economic growth in the UK.” [41]

February 11, 2021

Constable wrote an article for The National Review criticising US President Joe Biden’s plans to double offshore wind power by 2030. Constable argued that the Biden administration had underestimated the costs of wind energy expansion, writing: “The real puzzle here is how first-class scientific nations could have gone so far down a road that is intrinsically, physically, without strong promise.” He added: “Large capital expenditure and operating costs, as well as significant grid costs, are inevitable if governments insist on making the sow’s ear of wind into the silk purse of modern energy.” [38]

Constable also cited a report from UK Charity the Renewable Energy Foundation, which argued that predictions showing falling costs in wind energy were “the product of wishful thinking applied to notional projects in the future with little or no connection to commercial reality”. [39]

January 5, 2021

In an article for The Conservative Woman, the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Energy Editor John Constable criticised the costs of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, writing: “Mr Johnson’s administration, in common with every UK government from Mr Blair to Mrs May, is failing to sanity-check the emissions reduction policies and is, indeed, quite deliberately avoiding the subject. This is all the more reprehensible because the sanity check isn’t that difficult.” [33]

Constable cited a December paper he wrote for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which stated: “Even assuming, as the government wrongly does, that offshore wind is already inexpensive and will become still cheaper in coming decades, the abatement costs per tonne of carbon dioxide are many times higher than mainstream estimates of the harms of climate change.” Constable also stated that the government’s policies would cause “terrible socio-economic harm”. [34]

October 14, 2019

Constable wrote a post claiming that renewables subsidies were costing UK households an average of £340 each. An article by the GWPF‘s Deputy Director Andrew Montford based on the research was published on the right-wing blog site the Conservative Woman the following day. [29], [30]

He ended by saying:

“It’s worth remembering why we are doing this. It’s certainly not going to make any difference to the Earth’s temperature: our carbon dioxide emissions are a tiny fraction of the global total, and smaller than annual increases in China and India. No, we are doing this as a gesture: a way to show our leadership on climate change, setting an example to the rest of the world.”

In August, the GWPF announced one of the editors of the Conservative Woman, Kathy Gyngell, had joined its board of trustees. [31]

October 9, 2020

Constable was quoted in a Daily Mail article which criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s proposal to power every home in Britain with offshore wind energy by 2030. Constable, who the article referred to as a “green energy expert,” reportedly stated: “The civil service error created a licence to print money. These small 250kW turbines have been obsolete for years and nobody would have built them at the time, except as a loophole cash cow. They’re a terrible value for public subsidy, but an absolute goldmine for investors.” [32]

March 15, 2020

Writing for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Constable criticised the government’s plans for carbon taxation, which included raising fuel taxes on diesel vehicles for parts of the construction industry, in its March 2020 budget, writing: [35]

There will consequently be a pressure to either increase local authority revenue from council tax and central government grant funding, or to cut back on infrastructure development and maintenance. Neither of these options will be popular, but that is the character of carbon taxation. It brings out and identifies the full cost of climate policies. Everything becomes visibly more expensive.” 

May 11, 2019

Constable wrote an article for the Global Warming Policy Forum entitled “Is the Long Renewables Honeymoon Over?” Constable argued that the renewables industry was suffering “deep-seated structuro-physical weakness,” outlining problems being experienced in the wind energy industry. He ended the article by saying: “One explanation, the sole necessary one in my view, is that the physics is against this industry, and that the physics is beginning to tell.” [28]

June 14, 2018

Constable spoke in a Financial Times energy summit debate, opposing the motion, “Fossil fuels are doomed,” stating that “for my own part I suspect renewables really are doomed, on physical grounds, and that the axe of thermodynamic reality is already falling.” [23]

June 6, 2018

Constable wrote an article for CapX criticising the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, despite having stated in a 2007 Guardian comment article that he was “not anti-wind farms – but they should be offshore.” [24], [11]

April 25, 2018

Constable was quoted in a Daily Mail article by long-time climate science denier James Delingpole as saying wind energy will never be a solution “because of fundamental physics” and that the industry merely “gives the illusion that there has been massive technological progress.” [25]

June 28, 2016

Constable joined the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s “Academic Advisory Council”. [4]

April 2016

Constable appeared in front of the House of Lords’ Scottish Affairs committee, and said it is “entirely conceivable” the UK will return to carbon-based power generation despite government support for renewables. The GWPF, Scotland Against Spin and the Scientific Alliance Scotland also gave evidence during the session. [19]

February 2016

Constable is quoted in the Sunday Telegraph article titled  “Revealed: the great wind farm tax ‘con’” criticising the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) re-examination of public funding for onshore wind. [22]

January 31, 2016

Constable was appointed energy editor of the Global Warming Policy Forum, the campaign wing of climate science denial thinktank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation. [27]

March 30, 2015

The Independent reported Constable was to head-up a new Energy Institute at the University of Buckingham — the UK’s only private university, which has strong ties to the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The institute has yet to be set up. [7]

May 2013

Constable authored a paper called “Are Green Times Just Around the Corner?” for right-leaning thinktank Civitas, saying a shift to renewable power would make the economy stagnate. [16]

June 13, 2012

Constable took part in a debate on wind power at the Cheltenham Science Festival, speaking against the motion, “This house believes that Britain should be a fan of wind energy.” In his address, he accused the green movement of “bullying OECD governments into adopting legal mandates for low carbon solutions that are technically primitive and consequently ludicrously expensive.” [20]

Also speaking against the motion was Ben Pile, ex-researcher for UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom and co-founder of the Climate Resistance blog which rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. [20]

August, 2011

Constable authored a paper entitled The Green Mirage for right-leaning thinktank Civitas, arguing that “target-led, state-managed and subsidy-driven clean energy policies are likely to cause the premature adoption of costly technologies exhibiting low productivity, with resulting net economic contraction and wealth destruction.” [26]


Social Media

  • John Constable does not appear to be active on social media.



  1. Debate: Blackouts or breaking the rules, is UK electricity in jeopardy?Renewable Energy Foundation. URL: Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  2. Who we are,” Global Warming Policy Forum. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  3. Kyla Mandel. “Anti-Wind Campaigner John Constable Joins Lord Lawson’s Climate Sceptic GWPF Think Tank,” DeSmog, February 16, 2016.
  4. John Constable joins GWPF’S Academic Advisory Council,” Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  5. Register of Interests of Lords Members’ Staff – by Member’s name: letter R,” Parliament. Archived June 18, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  6. Leo Hickman. “Will the real Renewable Energy Foundation please stand up?The Guardian, May 18, 2011. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  7. Tom Bawden. “Britain’s leading private university ‘becoming a mouthpiece for fossil-fuel industry’,” The Independent, March 30, 2015. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  8. John Constable. “Shortfall, rebound, backfire,” Renewable Energy Foundation, 2012. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  9. Energy Policy and Consumer Hardship,” Renewable Energy Foundation, 2011. Archived February 11, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  10. Mike Swain. “Noel Edmonds on how the Government is ignoring the energy crisis,” The Mirror, February 3, 2012. Archived January 30, 2019. URL
  11. John Constable. “We’re not anti-wind farms – but they should be offshore,” The Guardian, January 11, 2007. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  12. Turbines go-ahead for Suffolk wind farm,” National Wind Watch, July 27, 2007. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  13. NOWAP stands for NO WIND FARM AT PARHAM,” NOWAP, March 2005. Archived October 20, 2013. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  14. NOWAP LTD: Filing history,” Companies House. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  15. Chris Parr. “Anthony Seldon to be next Buckingham v-c,” Times Higher Education, April 16, 20015. URL: Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  16. John Constable. “Are Green Times Just Around the Corner?Civitas: ideas for economic growth, Issue 6, May 2013. Archived January 23, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  17. Will Nichols. “DECC slams Civitas ‘manifesto for imported gas’,” BusinessGreen, May 17, 2013. URL: Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  18. Kyla Mandel. “Mapped: The Cosy Climate-Euro Sceptic Bubble Pushing for Brexit and Less Climate Action,” DeSmog, June 13, 2016.
  19. Kyla Mandel. “MPs Slam Anti-Wind Power Campaigners: You Seriously Want To Go Back to Fossil Fuels?DeSmog, April 13, 2016.
  20. Cheltenham Science Festival Wind Power Debate,” Renewable Energy Foundation, June 12, 2012. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  21. John Constable, Matt Ridley. “The Scottish wind power racket,” CapX, August 10, 2017. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  22. Emily Gosden. “Revealed: the great wind farm tax ‘con’,” The Telegraph, February 13, 2016. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  23. John Constable. “Speech at the Financial Times energy summit,” Global Warming Policy Forum, June 20, 2018. Archived January 23, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  24. John Constable, “Rampion wind farm is a black hole for taxpayers’ money,” CapX, June 6, 2018. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  25. James Delingpole. “The world’s biggest wind turbine – nearly three times the height of Big Ben – is to be built off the North-East coast… but JAMES DELINGPOLE says the idea these giants will solve our energy problems is simply hot air,” Daily Mail, April 25, 2018. Archived January 23, 2019. URL:
  26. John Constable. “The Green Mirage: Why the low carbon economy may be further off than we think,” Civitas, 2011. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  27. John Constable joins GWPF as Energy Editor,” Global Warming Policy Forum, 31 January, 2016. Archived January 31, 2019. URL
  28. John Constable. ”Is the Long Renewables Honeymoon Over?” Global Warming Policy Foundation, May 11, 2019. Archived June 20, 2019. URL
  29. John Constable. “Current Costs of British Renewables Subsidies per Household,” GWPF, October 14, 2019. Archived October 15, 2019. URL
  30. On your utility bill, the soaring price of green gesture politics,” Conservative Woman, October 15, 2019. Archived October 15, 2019. URL:
  31. Richard Collett-White. “Cambridge Professor and Anti-BBC Campaigner Join Board of Climate Science Denial Campaign Group,” DeSmog, August 9, 2019.
  32. Sam Greenhill. “Windfarm farce that blew £1.4billion of YOUR money! As Boris Johnson trumpets his vision of powering every home with turbines, we reveal the botched scheme that will inflate bills for 20 YEARS,”The Daily Mail, October 9, 2020. Archived November 30, 2020. URL:
  33. John Constable. “Johnson’s crazy Net Zero drive will cost so much more than it saves,” The Conservative Woman, January 5, 2021. Archived January 5, 2021. URL:
  34. John Constable. “Who are they fooling? The UK Energy White Paper 2020,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived January 5, 2020. URL:
  35. John Constable. “The UK’s March 2020 Budget: Red Diesel and the Dawn of Carbon Taxation,” The Global Warming Policy Forum, March 15, 2020. Archived December 15, 2020. URL:
  36. John Constable. “Kittiwake extinction risk and the death of environmentalism,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 19, 2021. Archived January 19, 2021. URL
  37. Benny Peiser. “Dangerous precedent of consent for Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm & Kittiwake extinction risk,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 19, 2021. Archived January 19, 2021. URL: 
  38. U.S. Offshore Wind Prospects: Overblown Promises and Blown-Up Costs,” The National Review, February 11, 2021. Archived February 15, 2021. URL:
  39. Gordon Hughes. “Wind Power Economics – Rhetoric and Reality,” The Renewable Energy Foundation, November 3, 2020. Archived February 15, 2021. URL: 
  40. John Constable. “A Little Nudge With A Big Stick,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived February 23, 2021. URL: 
  41. (Press Release.) “Thousands of UK businesses are at risk of becoming “carbon criminals,The Global Warming Policy Foundation, February 23, 2021. Archived February 23, 2021. URL: 
  42. Amy Oliver, Simon Trump. “A toxic blot on the landscape: Solar farms are ruining views and causing misery for residents – and, critics say, they’re filled with noxious chemicals, many are made by Chinese prisoners… and don’t even work in gloomy British weather,” The Mail on Sunday, May 29, 2021. Archived June 1, 2021. URL: 
  43. John Constable. “The Case for Reform of Solar Energy Planning Guidance,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived June 1, 2021. URL: 

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Photo: Screengrab via Parliament TV

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