Britain’s charity watchdog has been criticized after dismissing calls from 70 leading scientists, including a former chief scientific adviser, to remove the charitable status of a high-profile climate change denial group.
In a letter to the Charity Commission, Sir David King and 73 other experts said the activities of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) are “harmful to the general public from both an educational and health point of view”, and urged the watchdog to remove Group from the Register of Charities.
The GWPF, a lobbying group first founded by Lord Nigel Lawson, has long been accused of spreading misinformation about climate change for the sake of scientific fact and of demanding slow progress on necessary action.
It has been described as the most prominent source of climate change denial in the country and has previously been warned by the House of Lords charity committee for breaking rules on fairness.
However, in response to the scientists’ letter, the charity commission said it “does not have the capacity to assess the scientific accuracy of the Foundation’s report.” Nor is it “within the commission’s approval to do so”, the watchdog said.
Professor Ben Sheldon, head of the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford and a signatory to the letter, said it was “disappointing that the Charity Commission failed to understand the issue”.
Mark Muslin, Professor of Earth System Science at University College London, said he was “deeply concerned” that the GWPF is being recognized as a charity “even if they aim to undermine meaningful action on climate change.”
74 scientists said the foundation, which is also registered as an educational charity, has failed to meet its self-declared objective of advancing “public understanding of global warming and its potential consequences”.
“The goal of education should be to advance the knowledge and understanding of the general public about a given subject,” writes the scientist. “But it is clear that the Foundation’s work does not do this. The Foundation’s reports are not consistently consistent with the scientific literature on the topics they comment on.”
Earlier this week, a new survey of 88,125 climate-related studies published between 2012 and 2020 revealed that more than 99.9 percent of peer-reviewed scientific papers agree that humans are the leading cause of climate change and global warming. Is.
The GWPF falsely claims that there is no scientific consensus on climate change, calling the facts “controversial”. It campaigns against renewable energy and says it is “deeply concerned about the cost” of climate action.
It says it does not officially take a view on climate science and that its members “cover a wide range of different views, from the IPCC position to outright skepticism through agnosticism”.
The authors of the letter said that the foundation’s “publication and dissemination of misleading information means that they are not acting for the public benefit.”
“It sets a dangerous precedent for what is acceptable from an educational charity,” the scientists said. His views and reports “would not be acceptable to the school and therefore should not be acceptable to an educational charity.”
Experts urged the charity commission to revoke GWPF’s charitable status “with immediate effect” and employ a “pro-science policy” while “advising and regulating” the sector.
Pete Smith, professor of soil and global change at the University of Aberdeen, who signed the letter, said the group’s intention was to “confuse and slow progress on essential climate action”, adding that its activities “do not seem to me” charitable status. conform”.
Lord Lawson first founded GWPF in 2009 and has consistently refused to name the funders behind the foundation. In 2014, two people affiliated with the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) disclosed donations to the GWPF, which have admitted to taking funding from fossil fuel companies and have also argued against climate change mitigation.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /