Centre for Policy Studies

Centre for Policy Studies


The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) is a free-market organisation founded by Sir Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher in 1974, promoting an ideology of small state and economic liberalism.

Although the Centre claims to be non-partisan, historically it is heavily linked to the Conservative party, and has been an influence on British politics since the 1970s.

Stance on Climate Change

The CPS released a publication in March, 2007 entitled ‘Climate Change: a guide to the scientific uncertainties, in which they state that:

The scientific understanding of climate change is far from complete (despite claims to the contrary).”

The document outlines the organisation’s belief that the science behind Climate Change is too uncertain for policy action, and policy should prioritise energy security over reducing carbon emissions. The CPS state that the climate is constantly changing, and that the science behind the attribution of Climate Change to human activity is far from settled.

Key Deeds

February, 2017

Along with Civitas, and the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the Centre for Policy Studies received the lowest possible score from independent watchdog Transparify in its latest transparency ratings, as reported by DeSmog UK. The score referred to levels of transparency in expenditure and funding sources, and the report by Transparify included CPA in a list of seven “highly opaque and deceptive think tanks in Britain that take money from hidden hands behind closed doors”.

DeSmog UK previously revealed how the CPS, IEA, and Civitas operate as part of a network of organisations based around Westminter's 55 Tufton Street that pushed for the UK to leave the EU while spreading climate science misinformation.

September, 2017

A new pro-Brexit think tank called The Institute for Free Trade (IFT) was launched, to be sharing an office at 57 Tufton Street with the Centre for Policy Studies.

The president of the IFT is Tory MP Daniel Hannan, who previously spoke at an event hosted by US’s Heritage Foundation, a known anti-environmental group. This represents another link in the network of connections between the UK’s pro-Brexit figures and US climate science deniers.

August, 2016

In an article for The Times, Matt Ridley cited a Centre for Policy Studies publication authored by Rupert Darwall claiming that renewable subsidies were harming the UK energy market. The CPS regularly publishes work by climate science denier Rupert Darwall. Matt Ridley is an advisor to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a well known climate science denial organisation.

June, 2016

Lord Howard Stanley Kalms, director of the Centre for Policy Studies between 1991 and 2001, donated £10,000 to the Vote Leave campaign, bringing his total donations to the group to £40,000.

Kalms’ link to the Vote Leave group serves to further display the network of connections between pro-Brexit lobby groups and climate science denial, as DeSmog UK has previously mapped.

March, 2007

The Centre for Policy Studies publishes ‘Climate Change: a guide to the scientific uncertainties, a document that downplays the issue of anthropogenic climate change and claims that the science behind it is not settled. Within it, the group describe international climate policy such as the Kyoto Protocol as “punishment”.

The author of the document was Martin Livermore, who is on the advisory board of the Scientific Alliance, a climate science denial group.

September, 2006

Then Director of CPS, Ruth Lea suggested in a letter to The Telegraph that we need not worry about Climate Change, since the last time the climate changed it gave rise to civilisation. The scientist whose research she claimed to be referencing denounced this, saying she had grossly misrepresented his work.