Lord Nigel Vinson

Lord Nigel Vinson

Background

Lord Nigel Vinson, member of the Conservative Party, is one of a handful of known donors to the UK climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

Vinson was exposed as one of the GWPF’s funders by a DeSmog UK investigation in 2014. Vinson donated at least £15,000 to the GWPF during the group’s first five years through his own charity according to documents submitted to the Charity Commission.

Vinson was made a Conservative peer in 1985. He is also a former director of Barclays Bank (1982-1986) and is known for having been instrumental to the rise of Margaret Thatcher.

Alongside Thatcher, Vinson co-founded the Centre for Policy Studies, an opaque neoliberal British think tank. Vinson is also prominent donor to right-wing think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which has received money from oil and tobacco firms. Vinson was made “Life Vice-President” of the IEA, having worked closely with its first director general, Sir Ralph Harris.

Stance on Climate Change

Lord Vinson is known for being an early funder of the GWPF, calling the group a “very admirable institution.”

Key Quotes

September 2014

Speaking to the Guardian he said:

I am very proud to fund [the GWPF]. You have to put a question mark over climate change if over the last 14 years the world has not got any hotter.” 

Key Deeds

2013

Lord Vinson donated £10,000 to the GWPF. This second grant to the climate denial think tank was recorded alongside a donation to the Prince’s Countryside Fund under the category, “For the advancement of environmental protection or improvement”.

2012

Vinson, a eurosceptic, threatened to pull out of the Tory party and defect to UKIP unless then Prime Minister David Cameron loosened British ties with Brussels.

2011

Lord Vinson donated £5,000 to the GWPF in 2011, two years after the group was founded by Lord Nigel Lawson.

February 2008

Lord Vinson voted no to setting a target of reducing emissions by 80 percent by 2050 under the Climate Change Act.