- Bachelor of Arts (BA), History, Cambridge University. 
Owen Paterson is MP for North Shropshire and a former environment secretary. He was appointed to the role in 2012 but was sacked by then prime minister David Cameron for fear his view that climate change was not a serious problem would cost the Conservative party votes in the 2015 general election. , 
Paterson’s brother-in-law is Matt Ridley, a hereditary peer and advisor to the climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Paterson’s annual lecture to the GWPF in 2014 – in which he called for the UK to scrap the climate change act – was actually written by Ridley, it later emerged. , , , 
Paterson was one of three MPs to found the official Vote Leave campaign to take the UK out of the European Union, according to a speech he gave in 2017 to the Heritage Foundation, a US-based conservative think tank with a long history of climate science denial and opposition to climate policies. 
Stance on Climate Change
“I readily accept the main points of the greenhouse theory. Other things being equal, carbon dioxide emissions will produce some warming. The question always has been: how much? On that there is considerable uncertainty.
“For, I also accept the unambiguous failure of the atmosphere to warm anything like as fast as predicted by the vast majority of climate models over the past 35 years, when measured by both satellites and surface thermometers. And indeed the failure of the atmosphere to warm at all over the past 18 years – according to some sources. Many policymakers have still to catch up with the facts.
“I also note that the forecast effects of climate change have been consistently and widely exaggerated thus far.”
April 25, 2016
“It is Remain that is the leap in the dark.
To vote Leave is the safe option.”
” […] I want to explain what Remain really means. And to assure those of you who are undecided, that to Leave really is the safe and benign option.”
“We are the only country to have legally bound ourselves to the 2050 targets – and certainly the only one to bind ourselves to a doomed policy. In the absence of a legally binding international agreement, which looks unlikely given disagreement within EU member states and the position of the BRIC countries, the Climate Change Act should be effectively suspended and eventually repealed.”
“I remain open-minded to the possibility that climate change may one day turn dangerous. So, it would be good to cut emissions, as long as we do not cause great suffering now for those on low incomes, or damage today’s environment.”
July 19, 2014
“I have not been afraid to take on the greens on everything, from fracking to GM foods, the badger cull, even bees!”
March 8, 2020
Paterson tweeted a link to an article written by Matt Ridley for Global Vision entitled, ‘The Government’s energy policy could cripple global Britain’. The article stated that, “the purpose of decarbonisation is to alter the climate for the better. Yet nobody in their right mind thinks that net zero emissions will prevent wet winters and flooding. Such bad weather happened in the past anyway, and flood prevention and mitigation would be necessary even if the climate ceased warming. Rather than wasting money on subsidies to renewables, how about some flood defences? They work!” 
March 4, 2020
Paterson wrote an article for The Telegraph criticising the government’s plans to expand onshore wind energy as part of its efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Disputing the effectiveness of wind turbines, Paterson stated: “the problems of wind turbines go far beyond their being mere eyesores,” adding: “Wind turbines are already close to their maximum theoretical efficiency – the Betz limit – and their effectiveness will always be determined by the wind available.” 
Paterson also unfavourably compared renewable energy with nuclear energy, describing modular nuclear reactors as: “a proven technology which can provide power much more reliably than intermittent renewable sources.”
February 19, 2020
Paterson wrote an article for The Telegraph criticising the Environmental Agency (EA)’s response to flooding from Storms Ciara and Dennis, arguing that the decline in dredging and promotion of biodiversity had exacerbated floods. 
He wrote: “This self-regarding ‘environmental’ thinking was, ultimately, responsible for an environmental disaster estimated to have cost over £100 million. Unable to escape through undredged rivers, the flood waters stagnated, unable to support life and drowning countless land animals and ground-nesting birds.”
April 7, 2019
Documents showed Paterson had lobbied the Department for International Development to secure contracts for a multinational firm he was being paid to advise. Paterson is paid nearly £100,000 as a consultant for Randox, a private forensic testing firm. 
January 22, 2019
A Guardian report revealed that unknown donors had funded nearly £39,000 worth of trips by Paterson via UK 2020, the thinktank he set up after leaving the cabinet in 2014. The trips included one to the US in November 2018 to campaign for a hard Brexit. 
November 15, 2018
Paterson appeared alongside political lobbyist Shanker Singham and former Brexit Secretary David Davis at an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation, discussing prospects for a US–UK post-Brexit free trade agreement. 
September 19, 2018
Paterson delivered a speech to the Heritage Foundation, a free-market think tank based in Washington DC which has repeatedly spread disinformation about climate change and received funding from ExxonMobil and the Koch Foundation. 
According to the event description, Paterson made the case for how Brexit “can further strenghten the Special Relationship [between the UK and the US] as a powerful force for free trade and innovation on the world stage.” 
During his visit to Washington DC, Paterson also visited The White House Writers Group, which describes itself as a “strategic communications” consulting company. Writing on Twitter, Paterson boasted to have met US government representatives, farmers and industry representatives and discussed “the downsides for the US of Chequers preventing a US–UK free trade deal and the spectacular gains which such a deal could provide for both countries.” , 
October 9, 2017
Paterson was pictured with Republican Senator for Oklahoma James (Jim) Inhofe and Director of Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Myron Ebell. In the photo, Paterson is seen holding a copy of Inhofe’s book “The Greatest Hoax”, which claims global warming is a “conspiracy” being used to impose more regulations and increase taxes. 
October 4, 2017
“The EU has single-mindedly pursued an overly prescriptive interpretation of the “Precautionary Principle,” smothering opportunities for innovation in thrall to the emotions of vocal activists rather than scientific evidence and advice.
“The green blob dominates thinking in Brussels, with generous grants given to green groups so that they will lobby it for regulations which then require large budgets to enforce.”
Paterson was introduced by Myron Ebell, the institute’s Director for Energy and Environment. Ebell led President Donald Trump’s transition team on energy issues, despite admitting he had never spoken to Trump, and is known for spreading climate science denial. 
Paterson declared his support for Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative party leadership contest following David Cameron’s resignation. Both Paterson and Leadsom have strong ties to a trans-Atlantic network of individuals and groups spreading climate disinformation and pushing for Brexit. 
Signed a letter calling for the UK government to delay setting a target for its fifth carbon budget, as required by the Climate Change Act, as it would hurt the UK’s international economic competitiveness. 
October 16, 2014
Shortly after being sacked from government Paterson delivered the annual lecture for climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which it was later revealed was partly written by brother-in-law and GWPF advisor Matt Ridley. , 
Paterson met with the bosses of a number of oil and gas companies interesting in fracking in the UK. The Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) decided to withhold an internal briefing it prepared for Paterson in advance of the meeting. 
- UK2020 — Former chairman. 
- Global Warming Policy Foundation — Gave annual lecture, written by Matt Ridley. 
- Heritage Foundation — Delivered speech. 
- Competitive Enterprise Institute — Delivered speech. 
- MP for North Shropshire, May 1997 – present
- Conservative Whip, 1999-2001
- PPS to the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, Sept 2001 – Oct 2003
- Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Oct 2005 – Nov 2006
- Shadow Minister of State for Transport, Nov 2006July 2007
- Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, July 2007 May 2010
- Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, May 2010 Sep 2012
- Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Sep 2012 – July 2014
Some sample publications by Owen Paterson below (view a larger list at his website):
- “PM striking Brexit ‘deal’ is welcome but there are still causes for concern,” The Sun, December 10, 2017.
- “An independent sovereign UK could not be bound by the rulings of a foreign court,“ BrexitCentral, December 3, 2017.
- “How Britain can take back control of immigration,” The Times, April 10, 2017.
- “How we can reset our fisheries policy – and empower local communities,” PoliticsHome, January 16, 2017.
- “Brexit could save the elephants. Here’s how,“ The Telegraph, December 8, 2016.
- “There is overwhelming scientific evidence improving crops by molecular biotechnology techniques is safe,” Farmers Guardian, November 20, 2016.
- “Now we have ditched Brussels and the CAP, this is how we can make UK farming and fishing great again,” The Telegraph, September 15, 2016.
- “Owen Paterson: Economic growth is the key to saving the planet,” The Telegraph, September 20, 2015.
- “The Bees Are Safe—Now Lift This Pesticide Ban,” Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2015.
- “How Neil Young, Greenpeace work to starve the world’s poor,” New York Post, June 14, 2015.
- “Owen Paterson: Ignore EU scaremongering, the case for GM food is clear,” PoliticsHome, July 6, 2015.
“Owen Paterson,” LinkedIn. Accessed December 28, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Andrew Sparrow. “I was sacked by David Cameron to appease ‘the green blob’, says Paterson,” The Guardian, July 20, 2014. Archived December 28, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/LIP50
“Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage,” General Register Office, December 3, 2014. Retrieved from DocumentCloud. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Brendan Montague. “Sacked Environment Secretary Attacks Climate Change Act,” DeSmog, October 13, 2014.
Brendan Montague. “Sacked Paterson Turns to Broken Banker Ridley for Climate Speech Briefings,” DeSmog, October 16, 2014.
Kyla Mandel. “Sacked Environment Secretary Dodges Question on Whether he Will Challenge Conservative Party Leadership,” DeSmog, November 12, 2014.
“Owen Paterson’s speech on abandoning the 2050 climate change targets – full text,” The Spectator, October 15, 2014. Google Cache as of December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/uMIeT
“The Future of Europe,” Owen Paterson MP, April 25, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
Simon Walters. “You can’t sack me! It’s a smash in the teeth for 12million voters (and I even fought for you over bees): Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson among a number of sacked ministers to react to ‘male and pale’ reshuffle with fury,” Daily Mail, July 19, 2014. Archived December 28, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/mV9Xw
“Brexit at the Crossroads: Why U.S. Support for a Far-Reaching Agreement is Vital,” The Heritage Foundation, September 19, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
“Great to be back in Washington. Many thanks @whwg for a fascinating discussion with US Govt representatives, farmers & industry on the downsides for the US of Chequers preventing a US/UK Free Trade Deal and the spectacular gains which such a deal could provide for both countries,” Twitter Post by user @OwenPaterson, September 18, 2018. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
“Former U.K. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson Outlines the Environmental Benefits of Brexit,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, October 13, 2017. Archived December 28, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Lfwc4
“Brexit: Good for the UK, good for the USA and good for the planet” (PDF), Competitive Enterprise Institute, October 4, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Mat Hope. “UK Climate Science Denying GWPF Hosts Trump’s Fossil Fuelled ‘Environment Advisor’ Myron Ebell to Deliver Message to Britain,” DeSmog, January 30, 2017.
Kyla Mandel. “MPs Who Complained About BBC‘s Brexit Coverage Linked to Network of Hardline Euro-Climate Sceptics,” DeSmog, March 23, 2017.
“RE: BBC Coverage of Brexit” (PDF), Julian Knight Member of Parliament for Solihull, March 20, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Kyla Mandel. “Tory Leadership Race: The UKIP-ers and Climate Deniers Backing Gove and Leadsom,” DeSmog, July 5, 2016.
Emily Gosden. “UK climate target will let rest of EU do less, MPs warn,” The Telegraph, May 14, 2016. Archived December 28, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/5k21v
Kyla Mandel. “UK Climate Deniers Ridley and Paterson Join the Campaign to Leave the EU,” DeSmog, January 6, 2016.
Kyla Mandel. “Owen Paterson Meeting With Fracking Bosses Remains State Secret,” DeSmog, December 5, 2014.
David Pegg, Rob Evans, Felicity Lawrence. “Owen Paterson trips worth £39,000 funded by unknown donors,” The Guardian, January 22, 2019. Archived January 25, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/0ubKx
Rob Evans, David Pegg, Felicity Lawrence. “MP Owen Paterson lobbied government for firm he worked for,” The Guardian, April 7, 2019. Archived April 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/ze29b
“Great to meet a true conservative @JimInhofe with Myron Ebell @ceidotorg – Real opportunities to work more closely with the USA post-Brexit.” Tweet by @OwenPaterson, October 9, 2017. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
Owen Paterson. “WHY BREXIT IS GREAT FOR THE UK AND USA: ECONOMIST FOR FREE TRADE ADVISER RT HON OWEN PATERSON MP’S SPEECH TO HERITAGE FOUNDATION,” Economists for Free Trade, October 5, 2017. Archived June 26, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Owen Paterson. “Great piece by @mattwridley on how an independent UK‘s “fate will depend on how competitive it is. There’s one slug of self-inflicted burdens that we are in the process of making much worse, perhaps crippling: our energy policy.” Tweet by @OwenPaterson, March 9, 2020.
“Brexit and the Opportunities for the UK–US Trade Relationship,” The Heritage Foundation, November 15, 2018. Archived January 25, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/g8dbi
Owen Paterson. “Forget wind turbines. Here’s how we can meet Net Zero without derailing the economy,” The Telegraph, March 4, 2020. Archived February 8, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/uGGML
Owen Paterson. “Leaving the EU is a chance to rethink our disastrous flooding policy,” The Telegraph, February 19, 2020. Archived February 8, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/TG6aW
Photo: Wikimedia Commons | CC3.0