Week of Protests Over Equinor’s Media Sponsorship Greenwashing

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Original article by Adam BarnettPhoebe Cooke and Ellen Ormesher republished from DeSmog

Eldar Saetre, CEO of Equinor. Credit: Jeff Gilbert / Alamy

Campaigners likened the fossil fuel company’s patronage of climate events to letting an “arsonist sponsor a fire safety conference”.

Major media companies have sparked a wave of criticism after allowing a Norwegian oil and gas company behind the UK’s largest new North Sea project to sponsor events on climate change.

Equinor was an official sponsor of two conferences on climate and energy this week, one run by the New Statesman magazine, and one run by Politico. Both saw MPs pull out over the sponsorship, while the first was interrupted by a climate activist. 

The Norwegian state-owned company has a majority stake in the Rosebank North Sea oil field, which has been dubbed a “carbon bomb” by environmental law charity ClientEarth. 

Equinor claims it supplies 27 percent of the UK’s energy from oil and gas, and is currently investing $6 billion (£4.8 billion) a year in fossil fuel exploration and drilling.

“Allowing fossil fuel companies like Equinor to sponsor and speak at climate conferences is as absurd as allowing an arsonist to sponsor and participate in fire safety conferences,” said Carys Boughton of the Fossil Free Parliament campaign. “At this critical time for climate and energy policy-making, we can’t afford this absurdity.”

Equinor’s sponsorship of these events is the latest example of fossil fuel companies using media partnerships to greenwash their polluting activities. 

An investigation by DeSmog and Drilled in December detailed how oil and gas companies are using media deals – including partnerships with Politico, the Economist, the Financial TimesReuters, and the Washington Post – to present a climate-friendly image. 

DeSmog also revealed this week, based on documents released by a powerful U.S. congressional committee, that fossil fuel companies believe these media partnerships help to protect their “social licence to operate”.

Michelle Amazeen, a mass communications researcher at Boston University, said that oil and gas sponsorship is “a strategic move by fossil fuel companies to compromise the integrity of events intended to foster dialogue and action around climate issues”. 

She added that, “While the sponsorship gives the impression of caring about the environment, it’s a veneer that’s like an oil slick obscuring the actual conduct of the fossil fuel industry.”

This week, a cross-party group of 50 MPs, including three Conservatives, wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urging him to end the licensing of new oil and gas fields, appoint a climate envoy, and back the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, an international coalition working to facilitate a global phase-out of oil and gas production.

Alice Baxter, Equinor’s UK spokesperson, said: “At Equinor we believe in openness and the importance of engaging in the complex conversations around the energy transition. We respect everyone’s right to protest and encourage robust debate.”

New Statesman Event 

Equinor was one of the sponsors of the New Statesman’s Energy and Climate Change Conference on 14 May at the Leonardo Royal Hotel in south London.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas pulled out of the event last week due to Equinor’s sponsorship.

At the event, attended by DeSmog, the second panel discussion featured Equinor’s UK country manager Alex Grant. The session was entitled “How can the UK lead the world in the green transition?”

When it was Grant’s turn to speak, a Fossil Free London activist in the audience stood up and gave a speech criticising Equinor and its sponsorship of the event.

The activist said climate scientists “are warning us that we are headed towards a catastrophic 2.5C of global warming. Yet staggeringly, Equinor, that’s sponsoring this event, is opening the largest undeveloped oil field in the North Sea.” 

Labour MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee and was on the panel, interjected: “Why don’t you let us talk about it, because I’m actually here to be pretty critical of the government, I’d quite like to get my points across.” 

The protester continued her speech, and was removed by security. Her comments received a round of applause from the audience. 

Grant replied by saying that Equinor takes a “pragmatic approach” to the energy transition, as opposed to one that “costs more than it needs to”. He also defended the Rosebank project, saying it would reduce carbon emissions over the long term.

Rosebank could produce around 300 million barrels of oil over its lifetime, emitting 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

Questions at the New Statesman event were submitted online, rather than asked in person by the audience. 

During the event’s final session with Chris Stark, the former chief executive of the Climate Change Committee, which advises the government on its climate policies, DeSmog submitted a question about Equinor and Rosebank’s impact on the climate. The question was not posed to the panel. 

The latest issue of the New Statesman magazine, which features an interview with climate scientist and author Michael Mann, includes advertorials from biomass company Drax, which is the UK’s largest single source of CO2 emissions, and Calor Gas, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of liquefied petroleum gas.

The New Statesman hosted a number of events at the 2023 Labour Party conference sponsored by fossil fuel companies and lobbying groups, including Cadent, National Gas, and Offshore Energies UK

The New Statesman did not respond to DeSmog’s request for comment. 

Politico Event

On 16 May, Politico held its own Energy and Climate Summit, also sponsored by Equinor. 

Labour MP Alex Sobel, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Net Zero, last week pulled out of the event due to Equinor’s sponsorship. 

At the event, attended by DeSmog, a panel on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) featured David Cairns, a former British ambassador to Sweden and now Equinor’s vice president of political and public affairs. 

When questioned by the Politico chair, Cairns confirmed that the company had no plans to set targets for phasing out oil and gas.

He also said it was “debatable” whether the oil and gas industry was making large profits. Equinor reported £28 billion in profits in 2023. Cairns added that it was “really misplaced” to think that the oil and gas industry is an “easy business in which it’s easy to make money”.

A Politico spokesperson said: “This multi-sponsored Energy and Climate UK Summit is an extension of Politico’s ongoing and robust coverage of climate policy in the United Kingdom. 

“There is a clear division between Politico’s newsroom and our commercial operations. With critical milestones and a general election on the horizon, we continue to cover climate each day through our dedicated reporting.”

Politico’s influential London Playbook newsletter has this week been sponsored by the oil and gas giant BP. 

Michelle Amazeen said that fossil fuel sponsorship of media companies “has delegitimised their journalistic content, opened their journalists up for attack, and has even led to the resignation of journalists who are trying to write about climate issues”.

Equinor’s AGM 

Equinor also faced further public criticism this week, when on Tuesday the company was confronted by a climate activist at its annual general meeting (AGM).

Lauren MacDonald of the environmental group Uplift delivered a four minute speech about the company’s impact on the planet, and promised that campaigners would not stop opposing Rosebank or the company’s other fossil fuel projects.

At the meeting, shareholders rejected a resolution calling on the company to align its strategy and spending with climate goals.

“We invest in the energy the world needs now. That is oil and gas,” Equinor’s chief executive Anders Opedal said.

Tessa Khan, executive director at Uplift, told DeSmog: “Try as it might, Equinor can no longer ignore the scale of opposition to its climate-wrecking business model – it’s not just campaigners who are calling out its harmful mission, it’s also politicians pulling out of Equinor-sponsored events and shareholders demanding it ditch its plans of endless oil and gas expansion.

“Even if Equinor wants to stay silent, these demands for accountability will only get louder. Governments in the UK and Norway – who can’t afford to ignore this chorus of voices – must reject Equinor’s delay tactics and insist that their activities don’t further endanger our climate. As a first step, this means rejecting new oil and gas fields, and pulling the plug on disastrous projects like Rosebank.”

All-Energy and Dcarbonise

Equinor was not the only fossil fuel company to sponsor climate events this week. 

On Wednesday, climate protesters disrupted the All-Energy and Dcarbonise event in Glasgow, which describes itself as “The meeting place for the renewable and low carbon energy community”, yet featured paid exhibitions from oil and gas majors BP and Shell. 

Protesters from Stop Polluting Politics, and Fuel Poverty Action interrupted a speech by Scotland’s Net Zero and Energy Secretary Màiri McAllan, and a pre-recorded video of UK Energy and Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho. Both appeared alongside Louise Kingham, a senior vice president at BP. 

“As the lethal reality of climate breakdown becomes unmissable, the PR strategies of big fossil fuel companies like Equinor and Shell reveal their growing isolation, and an increasingly desperate attempt to buy friends,” said Andrew Simms, a director of the New Weather Institute and a co-founder of the Badvertising campaign.  

“They are the unwelcome guests at the party with everyone waiting for them to leave, but who keep buying rounds for anyone willing to drink with them in order to stay.”

Original article by Adam BarnettPhoebe Cooke and Ellen Ormesher republished from DeSmog

Rishi Sunak on stopping Rosebank says that any chancellor can stop his huge 91% subsidy to build Rosebank, that Keir Starmer is as bad as him for sucking up to Murdoch and other plutocrats and that we (the plebs) need to get organised to elect MPs that will stop Rosebank.
Rishi Sunak on stopping Rosebank says that any chancellor can stop his huge 91% subsidy to build Rosebank, that Keir Starmer is as bad as him for sucking up to Murdoch and other plutocrats and that we (the plebs) need to get organised to elect MPs that will stop Rosebank.
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Continue ReadingWeek of Protests Over Equinor’s Media Sponsorship Greenwashing

Caroline Lucas takes apart Tories sex education plan in one tweet

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‘The worst kind of arm-chair politics, bigoted and ill-informed’

Caroline Lucas hit out at the leaked details of the new guidelines this morning, condemning the Tory Party for engaging in the “worst kind of arm-chair politics”. 

The MP for Brighton Pavillion wrote on X: “Politicising sex education is unforgivable, dangerous & reactionary. It’s always *age appropriate* to give young people skills to stay safe. For younger ones that means teaching about respect & healthy relationships. This is the worst kind of arm-chair politics bigoted & ill-informed.”

Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union said that, if the reports are correct, then “there are many areas of concern”. Kebede slammed the Tory agenda towards school policy as he called it “yet more culture war noise from an ill-informed and out of touch government.” 


Continue ReadingCaroline Lucas takes apart Tories sex education plan in one tweet

Caroline Lucas tables Early Day Motion calling for rent controls in England

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Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion


An Early Days Motion tabled by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has called on the UK government to establish a national system of rent controls to address the increasingly huge costs of renting in England. 

Eight MPs have signed the motion so far which calls on the government to set up a Living Rent Commission, tasked with consultation on and designing a national rent control system with local flexibility and to provide powers to local councils to control rents in high rent areas.

The motion highlights how tenants in private accommodation in England are forced to pay out more for housing than our European counterparts where rights for renters are stronger, and therefore urges the UK government to follow suit and provide better protection for private renters. 

It comes as rents in the UK are rising at the highest rate in decades, increasing by 9.2% in the 12 months to March 2024 according to the ONS, highlighting the ongoing affordability crisis. 


Continue ReadingCaroline Lucas tables Early Day Motion calling for rent controls in England

Prospective GB News Board Member is Fossil Fuel Investor

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Original article by Adam Barnett and Sam Bright republished from DeSmog.

Conservative peer and prospective GB News board member Lord Theodore Agnew. Credit: GB News / YouTube

Lord Agnew is a shareholder in Equinor, the Norwegian oil and gas firm behind the ‘carbon bomb’ Rosebank oil field.

A Conservative peer who is expected to join the board of broadcaster GB News has shares in Equinor, the oil and gas multinational behind the Rosebank oil field in the North Sea. 

According to his parliamentary register of interests, Lord Theodore Agnew has shares of at least £100,000 in Equinor, the Norwegian state-owned energy producer. Equinor has a majority stake in the Rosebank North Sea oil field, which has been dubbed a “carbon bomb” by environmental law charity ClientEarth. 

Agnew is set to replace hedge fund millionaire Paul Marshall on the board of GB News’s parent company All Perspectives Ltd, according to Sky News. 

Marshall is one of the key backers of GB News, holding a 45 percent stake in the company. He is reportedly planning to step back from GB News in order to launch a bid for the Telegraph Media Group, which includes The Telegraph newspaper and The Spectator magazine. 

His withdrawal could potentially throw GB News into turmoil. The startup broadcaster has lost £76 million since its launch in 2021 and relies on the resources of Marshall and its other big stakeholder, UAE-based investment firm Legatum, to survive. Sky News reported that GB News is now preparing to make job cuts as part of a “corporate reorganisation”.

This may have implications for how climate change is covered in the UK. An investigation by DeSmog found that one in three GB News presenters had spread climate science denial on air in 2022, while more than half had attacked climate action.

“It comes as no surprise that members of the GB News board have ties to the oil and gas industry, given the way its presenters have championed continued oil and gas expansion,” said Tessa Khan, director of environmental non-profit Uplift. 

Agnew, a former Cabinet Office minister under Boris Johnson, was in October appointed chair of UnHerd Ventures, another Marshall media vehicle. The company runs UnHerd, a publication founded in 2017 to give a platform to marginalised views.

Agnew also has shares in Carbon Plus Capital, a private investment company which specialises in carbon offsetting “based on the protection of forests”. This involves companies paying to plant trees to “offset” their greenhouse gas emissions. 

Carbon offsetting is a controversial idea that has been criticised by climate campaigners as a form of greenwashing. An investigation published last year by newspapers The Guardian, Die Zeit and non-profit SourceMaterial found that 90 percent of rainforest carbon offsets approved by the world’s largest certifier Verra were “largely worthless” and could actually increase global heating. 

Carbon Plus Capital partner Robin Warwick Edwards is a trustee of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) think tank and the chair of its advisory council. The IEA, a free market group that has advocated for more fossil fuel extraction, received funding from BP for at least 50 years. 

Agnew and Edwards declined to comment. GB News did not respond. 

“Climate denial and investment in the fossil fuel industry go hand in hand”, said Carys Boughton of campaign group Fossil Free Parliament. 

“It makes complete sense that an expected new board member of GB News – a channel absolutely committed to attacking climate science and policy at every turn – is invested in Equinor, a company that, according to research by Oil Change International, ranks eighth worst in the world for its commitment to expanding oil and gas production.”

She added: “By spreading disinformation about the climate crisis, GB News is feeding into the fossil fuel industry’s licence to operate and thus helping to line the pockets of the industry’s shareholders.”

GB News in Turmoil

GB News hosts regularly attack climate policies and the science behind them. 

Numerous GB News presenters have also been vocal about their support for policies that would maintain and even extend the UK’s reliance on oil and gas. 

On 9 December 2022, host Mark Dolan praised West Cumbria Mining’s plan to open a new coal mine in Cumbria. He said the UK should “drill, baby, drill” for coal, oil and gas,  adding: “I think the push for net zero here is another element of liberal progressivism which is infecting the West.”

DeSmog revealed in October that Marshall Wace, the hedge fund run by Paul Marshall, had £1.8 billion invested in fossil fuel companies as of June 2023. This included Chevron, Shell, Equinor, and 109 other fossil fuel companies. 

Marshall reportedly invested £10 million in GB News when it first launched two years ago and, in August 2022, joined the Dubai-based investment firm Legatum Group in a £60 million capital injection and buyout of GB News’s other major investor, Discovery. 

If he joins the All Perspectives board, Agnew would become the latest Conservative politician to be adopted by the right-wing broadcaster. GB News hosts include Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was business and energy secretary under Liz TrussLee Anderson, a former Tory deputy chair who defected to anti-net zero party Reform UK last month, as well as Conservative MPs Esther McVey and Philip Davies.  

The All Perspectives board also includes Tory peer Baroness Helena Morrissey and George Farmer, a Reform UK donor and the son of Conservative peer Lord Michael Farmer. 

GB News reported losses of £42 million in the year to May 2023, and £76 million since its launch in 2021. This comes as rival populist channel TalkTV is closing its TV operation and switching to YouTube, having suffered losses of £90 million since it launched in 2022. 

Agnew’s appointment has not been confirmed by Marshall, Agnew or the company. 

“With advertisers steering clear, GB News is haemorrhaging cash – yet they continue to push misleading messages on climate change,” said Richard Wilson, director of the Stop Funding Heat campaign.  

“In the last month alone, GB News commentators have claimed climate change is a ‘social mania’, dismissed climate harms as ‘hypothetical’, and attacked United Nations warnings about the need for urgent climate action as ‘hysteria’.

“Now we learn that a prospective GB News board member has fossil fuel investments”.

He added: “Britain urgently needs a media that supports the public interest – not the interests of a toxic industry that is putting all of our futures at risk”.

Fossil Fuel Projects

Equinor claims it supplies 27 percent of the UK’s energy from oil and gas, and is currently investing $6 billion (£4.8 billion) a year in fossil fuel exploration and drilling. It also says that it powers one million homes in Europe via renewable offshore wind. 

Rosebank is the UK’s largest undeveloped oil and gas field, and could produce around 300 million barrels of oil over its lifetime, emitting 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

In October, DeSmog revealed that Equinor urged the UK government to help promote the oil and gas industry, and was one of several companies which lobbied to water down the windfall tax on oil and gas company profits following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The UK government controversially approved the Rosebank project in September, despite the International Energy Agency stating that new oil and gas exploration is incompatible with the ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas labelled the decision “morally obscene”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak used his address at the COP28 climate summit in December to claim that “climate politics is close to breaking point”, while stating that the UK will meet its net zero targets, “but we’ll do it in a more pragmatic way, which doesn’t burden working people”.

However, a 2023 court case found that the government’s plans only added up to 95 percent of the reductions needed to meet its net zero targets. The Conservative government has said it plans to “max out” the UK’s North Sea oil and gas reserves.

Tessa Khan added: “Those pushing for new oil and gas drilling, whether that’s the UK government, GB News or Equinor, are making things worse for the millions struggling with high energy bills and for those now struggling to cope with the impacts of climate change such as UK farmers – and all just to make a few oil and gas companies and their shareholders even richer.”

DeSmog has previously revealed that the Conservative Party received £3.5 million in donations from fossil fuel interests and climate science deniers in 2022, while two-thirds of the directors in charge of the party’s multi-million-pound endowment fund have a financial interest in oil, gas, and highly polluting industries.

Original article by Adam Barnett and Sam Bright republished from DeSmog.

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Continue ReadingProspective GB News Board Member is Fossil Fuel Investor

IEA Think Tank Contributes to Climate Science Denial Documentary

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Original article by Sam Bright republished from DeSmog.

The Institute of Economic Affairs has its headquarters on Lord North Street, Westminster. Credit: Des Blenkinsopp (CC BY-SA 2.0)
The Institute of Economic Affairs has its headquarters on Lord North Street, Westminster. Credit: Des Blenkinsopp (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A senior figure at the influential Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) think tank contributed to a new documentary that spread numerous myths about climate change. 

Stephen Davies, an academic who has worked in educational outreach roles at the IEA since 2010, appeared several times in Climate The Movie: The Cold Truth – a new film directed by climate science denier Martin Durkin

In the documentary, Davies claims that climate activists want to impose an “austere” life on ordinary people. “Behind all the talk about a climate emergency, climate crisis” is “an animus and hostility towards” working-class people, “their lifestyle, their beliefs and a desire to change it by force if necessary,” he says.

According to the website Skeptical Science, which debunks climate misinformation, Climate The Movie contains more than two dozen myths about climate change. The film suggests that we shouldn’t be worried about greenhouse gas emissions, because plants need carbon dioxide. “We’re in a CO2 famine,” one interviewee claims.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s foremost climate science body, has stated that carbon dioxide “is responsible for most of global warming” since the late 19th century, which has increased the “severity and frequency of weather and climate extremes, like heat waves, heavy rains, and drought”.

Climate The Movie producer Thomas Nelson told DeSmog that “I see the misguided fight against carbon dioxide as being as crazy as fighting against oxygen or water vapour, and I think scaring innocent children about this is deeply evil”.

The IEA said that “Steve firmly believes that climate change is happening and carbon emissions are having an impact. His view that climate policy imposes costs, particularly on working-class communities, is entirely mainstream. IEA publications and spokespeople have supported action on climate change, including carbon pricing.”

A screenshot of Stephen Davies of the Institute of Economic Affairs in Climate The Movie: The Cold Truth. Credit: Climate The Movie / YouTube
A screenshot of Stephen Davies of the Institute of Economic Affairs in Climate The Movie: The Cold Truth. Credit: Climate The Movie / YouTube

In 2018, Greenpeace’s investigative journalism unit Unearthed revealed that the IEA had received funding from oil major BP every year since 1967. In response to the story, an IEA spokeswoman said: “It is surely uncontroversial that the IEA’s principles coincide with the interests of our donors.” 

The IEA also received a £21,000 grant from U.S. oil major ExxonMobil in 2005.

The IEA has extensive influence in politics and the media. It was pivotal to Liz Truss’s short-lived premiership as prime minister, and has boasted of its access to Conservative ministers and MPs. During the year ending March 2023, the IEA appeared in the media on 5,265 occasions, a figure 43 percent higher than its previous peak in 2019.

The group has also received donations from a number of philanthropic trusts accused of channelling funds from the fossil fuel industry and helping to support climate science denial groups. The IEA is a member of the Atlas Network – an international collaboration of “extreme” free market groups that have been accused of promoting the interests of fossil fuel companies and other large corporations.

It’s not known if the IEA has received funding from BP since 2018.

The IEA is a prominent supporter of the continued and extended use of fossil fuels. The group has advocated for the ban to be lifted on fracking for shale gas, calling it the “moral and economic choice”. The IEA has also said that a ban on new North Sea oil and gas would be “madness”, has criticised the windfall tax imposed on North Sea oil and gas firms, and said that the government’s commitment to “max out” the UK’s fossil fuel reserves is a “welcome step”.

The IEA is part of the Tufton Street network – a cluster of libertarian think tanks and pressure groups that are in favour of more fossil fuel extraction and are opposed to state-led climate action. These groups are characterised by a lack of transparency over their sources of funding. The IEA does not publicly declare the names of its donors. 

“From Brexit to Trussonomics, the IEA has consistently peddled and promoted destructive and damaging policies,” Green Party MP Caroline Lucas told DeSmog. “Yet perhaps nothing will prove more dangerous long term than the stream of climate denialism and calls to delay action that have been pouring out of Tufton Street for many years.

“Clearly the IEA is now ramping up its climate culture war and the Conservative Party has been following suit. The cross-party consensus on climate action we used to have in Parliament is under strain like never before.”

The IEA and Stephen Davies were approached for comment. 

Climate The Movie

During the documentary, Davies suggests that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is being used to limit the freedom of individuals. He claims that climate activists want to impose “a much more austere simple kind of lifestyle” on people “in which the consumption choices of the great bulk of the population are controlled or even prohibited.”

Davies adds that: “What you have here is a classic example of class hypocrisy and self-interest masquerading as public spirited concern. You could take these kinds of green socialist more seriously if they lived off grid, they cut their own consumption down to the minimum, they never flew. Instead you get constant talk about how human consumption is destroying the planet but the people making all this talk show absolutely no signs of reducing their own.”

The documentary also features an interview with Benny Peiser, the director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) – the UK’s leading climate science denial group. Peiser has previously claimed that it would be “extraordinary anyone should think there is a climate crisis”, while the GWPF has expressed the view that carbon dioxide has been mischaracterised as pollution, when in fact it is a “benefit to the planet”. 

The film was favourably reviewed by commentator Toby Young in The Spectator magazine, who described it as “a phenomenon”. Young has previously said that he’s sceptical about the idea of human-caused climate change. 

The IPCC has stated it is “unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land”, while scientists at NASA have found that the last 10 years were the hottest on record. Earth’s average surface temperature in 2023 was the warmest since records began in 1880. 

The IPCC has also warned that false and misleading information “undermines climate science and disregards risk and urgency” of climate action.

The documentary also features Claire Fox, a member of the House of Lords who was nominated for a peerage by former prime minister Boris Johnson in 2020. 

Fox used the documentary to claim that, by tackling climate change, people will be forced to pay more “to simply live the lives that they were leading”.

She suggests that supporters of climate action are trying to “take away what we consider to be not luxuries but necessities.”

The UK’s Climate Change Committee, which advises the government on measures to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, estimates that the combined policies will cost less than one percent of the country’s national output.

The Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK’s independent economic forecaster, has also said that “the costs of failing to get climate change under control would be much larger than those of bringing emissions down to net zero”.

Those suffering during the cost of living crisis have seen their energy bills increase by nearly £2.5 billion, in turn reducing their disposable incomes, due to successive governments failing to implement green reforms. 

Claire Fox and the GWPF were approached for comment. 

A Charitable Cause?

The IEA is a registered charity, meaning that it receives generous tax breaks. 

The group justifies this charitable status partly on the basis of its educational outreach programme, which aims to “equip tomorrow’s leaders with a deep understanding of free market economics”.

The IEA claims that: “Our aim is to change the climate of opinion in the long term and our work with students is a key part of this.”

In the year ending March 2023, the group claimed to have engaged with 3,500 students and 1,200 teachers via its seminars, internships and summer schools.

Formerly the IEA’s head of education and now a senior education fellow, Davies is a senior member of the group’s outreach programme. He is the first person listed in the IEA’s student speakers brochure, which advertises the IEA staff members who are available to speak at schools or universities. 

The brochure also lists the IEA’s chief operating officer Andy Mayer, who has said that the government should “get rid of” its target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, which he called a “very hard left, socialist, central-planning model”.

The non-profit Good Law Project recently made a complaint to the Charity Commission about the IEA, claiming that the libertarian group had breached charity rules. Namely, the Good Law Project claims that the IEA is in breach of rules stating that charities must avoid presenting “biased and selective information in support of a preconceived point of view”.

The Charity Commission rejected this complaint, stating that: “We have assessed the concerns raised and have not identified concerns that the charity is acting outside of its objects or the Commission’s published guidance.” 

Good Law Project campaigns manager Hannah Greer told DeSmog: “It won’t be a surprise to anyone that the IEA is cementing its role as a major mouthpiece for climate change scepticism. It’s a huge scandal that the IEA is still allowed to peddle fringe views under the guise of being an ‘educational charity’ while benefiting from taxpayer subsidies.

“This has been allowed to happen because we have seen alarming and unambiguous regulatory failure from the Charity Commission – who have been presented with evidence of how the IEA is flouting charity law, but have chosen to look the other way.”

Original article by Sam Bright republished from DeSmog.

Continue ReadingIEA Think Tank Contributes to Climate Science Denial Documentary