UK: Climate Skeptic Lobby Not 'Influential' Enough To Reveal Funder

"The climate sceptic thinktank chaired by former chancellor Lord Lawson, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), has been ruled not 'influential' enough to warrant making the Charity Commission disclose its seed funder, an information rights tribunal ruled on Tuesday."

"The verdict followed a freedom of information request to identify the individual or organisation that gave the GWPF £50,000 when it was launched in 2009 to lobby against action on global warming, just days before a major climate change summit in Copenhagen attended by world leaders including Barack Obama.

The GWPF's claim that it had significant influence over policymakers, said the judge, was 'rather surprising' given its status as an educational charity. She added that the 'claim [is] unsupported by evidence of actual influence' and, regardless, it is a matter for the Charity Commission to investigate, not the tribunal.

The freedom of information request for the funding information had been pursued by Brendan Montague, an investigative journalist and director of the Request Initiative. He was seeking to appeal an earlier ruling by the information commissioner's office that had judged that there was no public interest in ending the secrecy around the financing of Lawson's educational charity."
  
Leo Hickman reports for the Guardian February 21, 2012.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012