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« Whack | Main | Somerset stops pumping »
Monday
Feb172014

Stern's pecuniary diversion

The Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information has discovered that while Lord Stern was deputy chairman of the Global Green Growth Institute, a major contract was awarded to the Grantham Institute at LSE, which is of course also headed by Lord Stern too.

Apparently alarm bells were sounded by Danish civil servants at the time but you rather get the impression that their concerns were overridden. This seems to have captured the interest of experts in corruption:

"There is a convergence of personal interests and networks in this case, which is very problematic", said professor Christian Bjørnskov from Aarhus University, an expert on development economics who has studied corruption in the development world.

His assessment is supported by Indira Carr, a law professor at Surrey University and an expert on corruption.

"To an outside observer, there certainly seems to be a conflict of interest. Whether that actually influenced the decision to award the grant to this particular institute, is still a matter to be clarified. It would be appropriate for the donor countries to ask the GGGI to explain the process in details," she said.

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Reader Comments (14)

Roger Andrews has a great comment here deconstructing Sterns BS published in the Gruniad on Friday.
Stern's drivel

Feb 17, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

Will our MPs be falling over themselves to ask questions about this murky matter in Parliament? I would be utterly astonished if any LibDems did. If a Labour MP were to do so, I would be very pleasantly surprised to discover that there is at least one in the parliamentary party who is capable of independent thought. If a Tory were to raise the matter I would be slightly surprised that the party headed by a man whose ambition was to be the head of the greenest government ever is prepared to risk his/her promotion prospects by challenging green corruption.

Feb 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Euan

Good grief!
How can Stern fit so much wrong into so few words?

He should write for The Guardian.

Feb 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

I suspect that, the EA having shown its true colours, the Somerset farmers are not going to have anything to do with them in future, but will commence dredging and draining on their own as soon as possible, utterly ignoring any EU diktats; some might even install pumps. They will do this with full complicit support of the community, and woe betide any policeman or other official who feels it incumbent to interfere.

This message may well have already percolated around the countryside, and it would not surprise me to see or hear of other communities taking it upon themselves to do the work they had previously left to “du gubmint”.

Feb 17, 2014 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Don't the Danish civil servants and professor Christian Bjørnskov realize that such behaviour seems de-rigeur for those involved in all matters 'green'? As leading manufacturers of subsidy farms one would have thought Danes would have understood the process.

Feb 17, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan W

Dang! Wrong thread. Please delete my (unregistered) comment above, and I'll post it on the correct one.

Feb 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Feb 17, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Ian W

It's probably like guns: the Danish don't feel responsible for the abuse of the products of their entirely legitimate industry.

Feb 17, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

la la la la la can't hear you la la la la .

Feb 17, 2014 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

BBC More or Less has previously debunked the claims there is going to be a crisis shortage of helium & phoshporous, but the BBC World service just did a prog hyping shortages up ..Featuring a 10 minute uncontested segment from Green Hedgefund head .. yes Jeremy Grantham

Feb 17, 2014 at 1:14 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"phoshporous"

I wonder what people sound like when they've consumed helium and alcohol..?

Feb 17, 2014 at 3:15 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

What I want to know is what are Lord Winstons pecuniary interests? It makes one feel like Caligula and wish they all had one head. (And marry a horse! Some have!) To abolish the 'House of Lords' and the Saxe-Coburgs. I, suppose, I used to be a bit antediluvian (Ha ha!) about that but I would only want the Lords as status-ante (and the royal family) - because those Lords actually were kind of autochthonous, from the land and, thus, one assumed, were a 'conservative' break on all these b*stard Bolshies. O times past, O days gone by!

Feb 17, 2014 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

Where's Bob Ward when his master needs him?

Feb 17, 2014 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Bob Ward pops up in the article that Andrew links, which is well worth reading.

Climate guru's institute received millions despite warnings of conflict of interest

"Since the end of November last year, Information has tried to get an interview with Lord Stern, but to no avail. Instead, GRI spokesperson Bob Ward wrote in an e-mail correspondance with Information: » Any suggestion of wrongdoing by the Grantham Research Institute or Lord Stern is without foundation.«

[...]

»It would be entirely wrong to imply that his involvement in GGGI at any point was for personal gain.«"

Note how Bob Ward counters a suggestion that was never made.

The questions revolve around why there was no tendering process for a contract of over 2 m USD:

"There was no tender, however, even though GGGI’s own rules and regulations at the time said that contracts with a value of 100,000 USD or more had to be tendered. There were exceptions to this rule, but the GGGI has not stated which exception that would justify skipping a tender process in this case."

"To shed further light on the case, Information has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the correspondence between GGGI and GRI covering the period of the negotiations. LSE, however, has refused to hand over the material on the grounds that it is so extensive that Information’s request is »beyond the reasonable limit«."

"GGGI ... is funded by development aid from a number of countries, among them Denmark, Norway, Germany and the UK."

Feb 18, 2014 at 8:32 AM | Registered CommenterRuth Dixon

Information is a notoriously left-wing newspaper in Denmark, but with unusually high levels of journalism.
Its akin to how the Guardian was in the 80's, just more socialist.
I do hope an english paper picks up the story and runs with it - theres definitely something there.

Feb 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Engineer

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