IEA

'We Are the Mainstream': Inside the Conservatives' Alternative Brexit Conference Playing Host to Climate Science Deniers

Read time: 8 mins

In a packed lecture hall a few hundred metres away from the Conservative Party Conference, climate science denier and hard-Brexiter MP Owen Paterson told the cheering crowd: “We are the mainstream of the Conservative Party.”

As the rift between different factions of the Conservative Party deepens over Brexit, Paterson, a political advisor to the group Leave Means Leave, was preaching to an audience already on his side of the divide.

He was speaking at the Alternative Brexit Conference, a one-day event which ran parallel to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham on Monday and required no pass or accreditation to attend.

Hard-Brexit Lobbyists Demand UK Roll-Back Environmental Standards to Strike Free Trade Deals with India, China and US

Read time: 6 mins
Brexit

Hardline Brexiters are calling on the UK government to cut EU environmental regulations to secure free-trade deals with the US, China and India after Brexit. Environmental NGOs said the plans were not credible if the UK was to fulfil its own environmental commitments, warning that the Brexit vote was not a mandate to lower standards.

The alternative Brexit plan, which is backed by former Brexit secretary David Davis and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and was published today by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), claims that if the UK continues to strengthen its regulatory environment, it will lead to “wealth destruction” and will “push people into poverty”.

The report slams the EU as saddling the UK with regulations that are “damaging to growth” and singles out environmental protection rules as one of the areas where EU regulation is “moving in an anti-competitive direction”.

Ruth Lea

Ruth Lea

Background

Ruth Lea is a political economist and former civil servant. A commentator on economic and political affairs, Ruth Lea has criticised the “big state” economic ideas of Gordon Brown.

Between 2004 and 2007, Ruth was director of Centre for Policy Studies, an organisation with links to climate science denial groups in the US.

Read time: 3 mins

Centre for Policy Studies

Centre for Policy Studies

Background

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.

Read time: 3 mins

China Is Showing the World What Renewable Energy Dominance Looks Like, Says New IEA Report

Read time: 4 mins

The growth of solar energy continues to outpace forecasts and this growth, according to a report published today by the International Energy Agency, “is a China story.”

While China today is far and away the global leader in solar generation, a decade ago, the country had just 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed. That’s nothing. For reference, it’s actually less than is currently installed in the city of San Antonio. By the end of 2016, China had increased its solar PV capacity by nearly 800 times, with more than 77 gigawatts currently installed.

China’s solar dominance is only going to keep growing, according to the IEA report. As Dr. Paolo Frankl, one of the lead authors on the report, said on a call to reporters, “In one year, China will install the equivalent of the total history of solar development in Germany.”

How US Senators’ #WebofDenial Helped Spawn and Sustain Climate Science Denial in the UK

Read time: 5 mins
Senator Whitehouse describing the Web of Denial in the US Senate

In the 1990s, personnel from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) were flying across oceans to stoke climate science denial.

In 1995, in what is thought to be the first conference promoting climate science denial in Britain, the CEI’s then president Fred Smith joined another US guest from the Atlas Economic Research Foundation for a series of talks that undermined warnings about the impacts of fossil fuels on the climate.

Now more than 20 years on, Democratic Senators from across the pond have completed a blitz of speeches describing the fossil fuel funded “web of denial” – with organisations including the CEI featuring heavily in their forensic analysis.

This “web of denial” has held back action to cut greenhouse gas emissions while confusing the public on climate change. 

Understanding the Potential Climate Science Impacts of the UK Government’s New Anti-Lobby Clause

Read time: 7 mins

For over a month now academics, scientists, and MPs continue to wait for the government to clarify the scope of its controversial ‘anti-lobby’ clause which threatens to stifle scientific criticism of government policies.

On 6 February the Cabinet Office inserted a new clause into all new and renewed grant agreements which will come into effect on 1 May.

This clause will see any groups that receive public money banned from using those funds to attempt to influence either government or Parliament.

Due to the vague nature of the clause, this could mean that these researchers would not be allowed to tell ministers about the policy implications of their findings or respond to government consultations or inquires related to their topic of interest.

How Free Market Economics Was Smuggled into Britain - Alongside Factory Farming

Read time: 6 mins

The founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs argued free markets needed honesty. But his own financial success was based on smuggling - and the IEA was itself conceived with the help of a white lie.

Antony Fisher was determined to support Friedrich von Hayek's international campaign to transform the ideology of the age. But it took almost a decade, and a remarkable reversal of fortunes, for his ambitions to take form.

Institute of Economic Affairs

Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)

Background

Read time: 15 mins
Subscribe to IEA