DeSmog

Neil Record

Photo: screengrab from YouTube

Credentials

Background

Neil Record is Chairman of Net Zero Watch (formerly the Global Warming Policy Forum), the campaign arm of the UK’s principal climate science denial organisation, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.2Board Members,” Net Zero WatchArchived October 11, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/a31l8

Record was also the Chairman of the Institute of Economic Affairs until July 2023.3“The Institute of Economics Affairs: Trustees’ Report” (PDF), for year ended December 31, 2017. Retrieved from charitycommission.gov.uk. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 4Linda Edwards elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Institute of Economic Affairs,“ IEA, July 20, 2023. Archived January 3, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/Og9av

Record is also a known donor to the GWPF.5Two secret funders of Nigel Lawson’s climate sceptic organisation revealed,” The Guardian, September 2, 2014. Archived December 21, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/0YRUz 6Who we are,” Global Warming Policy Forum. Archived October 30, 2019. Archive URL: http://archive.md/lwIeF

Record has numerous connections to the Tufton Street network, a small but influential network of free market, pro-Brexit thinktanks and lobby groups based at or near 55 Tufton Street including the GWPF, Net Zero Watch, the Institute of Economic Affairs, and Eurosceptic campaign group Global Vision.

Record is a major Conservative Party donor, having given £450,000 to the party and MP Matt Hancock since 2008, according to official records.7Donations search via The Electoral Commission. Search performed December 21, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. During the Brexit campaign in 2016 he was listed as a business supporter of Business for Britain, a pro-Brexit group linked to 55 Tufton Street.8Business Supporters,” Business for Britain. Archived May 12, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/VLeQF

Record is a board member of Restore Trust9,”Meet the Team,” Restore Trust. Archived January 1, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/4TxR1 10Ben Quinn. “National Trust warns of threat from ‘ideological campaign’ waged against it,” The Guardian, October 13, 2021. Archived January 4, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/hvCcs a campaign group that according to the Guardian was “waging a campaign against perceived ‘wokeness'” within the National Trust, a major UK conservation charity.11Ben Quinn. “Insurgents to bring war on ‘wokeness’ to National Trust AGM,” The Guardian, October 1, 2021. Archived November 24, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/UjkGG

In July 2023, Record stepped down as Chairman of his company Record PLC, a currency and asset management company. Record founded the company in 1983 and was chief executive until 2010.12Jamie Ashcroft. “Record founder Neil Record to step down as chair later this year,” Proactive, March 1, 2023. Archived May 8, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/gxzqF

Stance on Climate Change

October 4, 2015

In an email, Record told Greenpeace’s Unearthed unit:13Lucy Jordan. “Energy minister accepts £18,000 from board member of climate sceptic group,” Unearthed, October 4, 2015. Archived December 21, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/5F4vR

I believe that the important scientific enquiry required for us to understand man’s effect on the climate is being hampered by a monolithic ‘establishment’ view that the science is settled.”

[…]

It is also clear that some of the current popular political choices for carbon reduction (wind; solar in high latitudes) are woefully inefficient and unsustainable,” Record said. “Advances in technology will undoubtedly continue to allow us to improve our carbon/GDP efficiency, but only if the current climate obsessions and fashions are subjected to proper scrutiny.”

Key Quotes

September 2, 2014

After Record was revealed as a GWPF donor, he told the Guardian:14Two secret funders of Nigel Lawson’s climate sceptic organisation revealed,” The Guardian, September 2, 2014. Archived December 21, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/0YRUz

I personally regard the continuing contribution of the GWPF to the climate change debate as very positive in assisting balance and rationality in this contentious area.”

Key Deeds

December 19, 2023

In an opinion piece published by the Telegraph titled “What could happen if we just stopped oil? Six billion might die,” Record wrote that he was “exasperated” by Just Stop Oil protesters.15Neil Record. “What could happen if we just stopped oil? Six billion might die,” The Telegraph, December 19, 2023. Archived January 3, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/oAOih

According to its website, Just Stop Oil’s main demand is that “the UK government makes a statement that it will immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK,” rather than an immediate end to fossil fuel use.16About Just Stop Oil,” Just Stop Oil. Archived January 4, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/6OGth

Record wrote:

“But what would happen if we literally just stopped oil tomorrow and did without the natural resources on which the world, its economies and populations depend? The answer: most likely six billion people would die within a year.”

Record argued “diesel and petrol are likely to have run out by day 25,” and that “food distribution would fail, and so the population, most of which are entirely dependent on bought food, begin to starve.”

He concluded:

“Here’s my question: do the nice, well-meaning people of Just Stop Oil understand how the world works, or not? If they do, they are nihilists; if they don’t, then why are they disrupting the smooth running of our society, promoting an extreme course of action of which they have no understanding?

If, by the way, my analysis is wrong, they should enlighten us on how an immediate ban on fossil fuels will allow civilisation to continue and flourish.

To be clear I am not suggesting that the world is forever in the grip of fossil fuels. Far from it. History tells us that human civilisation is a story of constant change.”

October 2, 2023

In an opinion piece published by the Telegraph titled “The true cost of net zero? Ruinously high bills, for decades,” Record argued that “household electricity bills will rise relentlessly and then stay high if Britain sticks to its net zero ambitions.”17Neil Record. “The true cost of net zero? Ruinously high bills, for decades,” The Telegraph, October 2, 2023. Archived October 15, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/DZdtC

Record added:

“This is the inevitable consequence of the shortcomings of all current means of generating clean electricity – and demand for electricity is certain to soar if we scrap gas boilers and force people to buy electric cars.”

Record wrote about the “shortcomings” of renewable energy sources including nuclear energy, hydro-electricity, solar energy, and wind, writing that “net zero by 2050 for Britain’s electricity supply is so difficult as to be practically impossible with current technology.”

November 2017

The Herald revealed that Record had donated £2,000 to Scottish Conservative MP John Lamont’s local party in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk earlier in 2017. The news prompted SNP MSP Graeme Dey to call the Scottish Tories “shameless hypocrites” when it comes to the environment.18Paul Hutcheon. “Ruth Davidson in ‘hypocrisy’ row over donation from climate change sceptic,” The Herald, November 25, 2017. Archived January 3, 2019. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/OPeNX

November 2014

Matthew Hancock, received a donation of £4,000 from Neil Record a few months after Hancock was appointed as the Conservative Party’s energy and climate change minister. Since 2011, Hancock has accepted £18,000 from Record.19Lucy Jordan. “Energy minister accepts £18,000 from board member of climate sceptic group,” Unearthed, October 4, 2015. Archived December 21, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/5F4vR

September 2014

Neil Record was revealed to be one of the GWPF’s funders but the amount donated was not disclosed, with Record stating the amount was a “private matter.” 20Two secret funders of Nigel Lawson’s climate sceptic organisation revealed,” The Guardian, September 2, 2014. Archived December 21, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/0YRUz 21Brendan Montague. “Exposed: Lawson’s Climate Denial Donors’ Links to Tobacco and Oil Backed Think Tank,” DeSmog UK, September 2, 2014.

April 2012

Hancock authored a Conservative Free Enterprise Group report calling for the government to cut wind and solar subsidies and push ahead with shale gas exploration and extraction.22Edward Malnick and Robert Watts. “Renovation tax will harm our churches, warns Hurd,” The Telegraph, April 21, 2012. Archived January 3, 2019.

2010

During his race to become MP for West Suffolk, Hancock helped to campaign against onshore wind developments in his region.23Lucy Jordan. “Energy minister accepts £18,000 from board member of climate sceptic group,” Unearthed, October 4, 2015. Archived December 21, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/5F4vR

Affiliations

Social Media

Neil Record does not appear to be active on social media.

Publications

Other Resources

Resources

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