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The US Senate report on funding of environmental groups by a small group of wealthy individuals and their trusts is getting a huge amount of play on the internet at the moment (Breitbart coverage here, Forbes here). We knew the sums involved were astronomical but I can't recall the funding streams of the greens being set out in such detail before. It would be interesting to see a similar analysis done for the UK.

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Reader Comments (23)

Whoa! That came out of left field !

Jul 30, 2014 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

I think it is important that we find out what the UK funding streams are.

Also we need to find out how many of the members of the Commons & the House of Lords are financially connected to the Green industry!

Jul 30, 2014 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

We have Jeremy Grantham, who according to WikiP:-

" Jeremy, together with Hannelore Grantham, established the Grantham Foundation For the Protection of the Environment in 1997. Substantial commitments have been made to both Imperial College London and London School of Economics to establish the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, respectively, which will enable both institutions to build on their extensive expertise in climate change research.[11] The 2011 tax filing for the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment shows the Foundation donated $1 million to both the Sierra Club and to Nature Conservancy, and $2 million to the Environmental Defense Fund that year. The Foundation has also provided support to Greenpeace, the WWF and the Smithsonian. Until 2012 Grantham funded a $80,000 prize for environmental reporting."

Jul 30, 2014 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

The real question is how does one get on the gravy train?!?!??!


Jul 30, 2014 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

This is a very rich seam, if you excuse the pun. The eco-bandwagon has been manipulated, used to lobby, used to protest, used to communicate, used to lie, used to claim alarm and used to make lots and lots of money.

Probably "used" is too generous a word, complicit is much more accurate.

It will no doubt take many years to unravel all the more intricate schemes but this is a good first step.

Jul 30, 2014 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Some of us (me, Alex Cull, Barry Woods – any others?) have made first attempts at deciphering the funding of UK environmental groups. It's not difficult when they're registered charities which file reports.
Of course, it would be a lot easier if it were done via some established organisation, with the work allotted in a rational manner and the results widely published. At present, some blogger spends tedious hours unraveling a few inches of the tangled skein, publishes the results, a half a dozen colleagues say “Hey, that's interesting!” - and that's it.
But hey! We're all libertarians here. Don't talk to us about an organised effort to actually do anything.

Jul 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

The same groups do the same in the EU

Oak Foundation
Climate Works Foundtion and previously ) Hewlett Foundation

stuffing money into the European Climate Foundation, who give lots and lots of grants to lots and lots of groups...

from funding partners they work closely with The Energy Foundation
(which as Forbes shows, greenwashes the money in the USA)

"ClimateWorks Network

The ECF is allied with a global network that includes the San Francisco-based ClimateWorks Foundation, which works to stimulate climate-related policy work worldwide. Through this network, the ECF works alongside other regionally based foundations including the Energy Foundation in North America, the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation in India, the Energy Foundation China Programme, and the Latin America Regional Climate Initiative, established in 2013."

THE European Climate Foundation distributes it to every green/climate lobby group in Europe... (Greenpeace, WWF, FOE, Sandbag (Bryony) Carbon Brief - they have made hundred of grants.. they used to have a grants page breaking it down into every group on the website.

All to lobby for 95% CO2 reduction in the EU by 2050.

2013 people:

hundreds and pages and pages of grants,
under different programmes - EU climate policies, global policies, energy efficiency

The trustees and advisory board are the great and politically connected in the EU elite.. (spot Marc Jacobs (Browns Advisor) and Schnellnerger

The model of distributing funds and influencing, exactly mirrors activities in the usa (same people same organisations)
see diagram in the link as well:

About Us

The ECF was established in early 2008 as a major philanthropic initiative to promote climate and energy policies that greatly reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and to help Europe play an even stronger international leadership role to mitigate climate change.

What we do

The ECF aims to significantly drive the transformation of Europe to a low carbon economy, which means reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Europe by 30% in 2020 and at least 80% in 2050.

The ECF does so by developing and implementing well-crafted climate and energy policies that greatly reduce Europe's global greenhouse gas emissions. Key elements of a sustainable energy future include: (1) a substantial increase in energy efficiency, (2) a successful transition from conventional to renewable energy; (3) maintenance of the earth’s ecological systems and the life-supporting services they provide; and, (4) equitable distribution of energy services to different members of the population, both internationally and within nations.

We build alliances among a wide range of partners in government, business and the NGO sector. Our programme staff collaborate with grantees and experts from the field to design and fund sophisticated strategies based on a thorough understanding of decision-makers, decision-making processes and political pressure points.

The majority of the ECF’s fund is re-granted to NGOs engaged in trying to bring about meaningful policy change. We choose strategies that can win the most effective and implementable policies based on rigorous analysis undertaken by our expert staff. When we see an unfulfilled need we also engage in direct initiatives, such as commission papers, convene meetings or support a new organisation.

The ECF is affiliated with the ClimateWorks Network and is the core of the ClimateWorks system in Europe. The ClimateWorks Foundation supports public policies that prevent dangerous climate change and promote global prosperity.

The ECF is organised in five different programmes, with communications support from the Energy Strategy Center

Jul 30, 2014 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Perhaps through this blog there is a person with the skills to receive information and archive it after some standard of verification? The same person does not necessarily have to be the one to publish the findings. We probably need a loose network of some kind between people with the appropriate skills and the willingness to take part. They could build an archive of damning evidence collected by the rest of us. All of us probably need a bit of guidance and direction, but it could be done.

Maybe some people out there feel that they have the skills and motivation to organise something. I, for one, would be prepared to put in some time as a foot soldier. I'm sure that many others would too.

Jul 30, 2014 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Well now we see the "well funded." How about "well orchestrated?" Or is that the pits?

Jul 30, 2014 at 9:55 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Did anybody think Baroness Bryony Worthington (thanks Ed Milliband, for making her a life peer, for her CC act)) formerly of FOE actually work for a living. Her Sandbag organisation lobbies the EU.. money comes form ECF and ultimately the same groups as the USA:

"The following reports and briefings have been produced thanks to the support of our core funders:
The European Climate Foundation, the Goldsmith Foundation and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation."

The ECF (European Climate Foundation) is affiliated with the ClimateWorks Network and is the core of the ClimateWorks system in Europe. The ClimateWorks Foundation supports public policies that prevent dangerous climate change and promote global prosperity.

Our core costs are funded from the following sources:

The European Climate Foundation (ECF)
The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

Some funding also comes from our work with other organisations. These include:

The Wuppertal Institute
BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany)
WWF Greece
WWF Belgium
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Our Directors

Baroness Worthington is an experienced climate campaigner who has worked for Friends of the Earth, the government and in the private sector. Bryony developed the concept of 'carbon budgets' whilst at FOE and was a key member of the team that drafted the UK's Climate Change Bill. She has a detailed understanding of emissions trading policy and has experienced first hand the lobbying that surrounds this important policy which is why she was inspired to set up sandbag.

Ed Gillespie is the founder and co-director of Futerra, a sustainability communications agency. His interesting career history includes working for the Natural History Film Unit, as a marine biologist in Australia, New Caledonia and Orkney and on environmental issues for Transport for London. Ed has Masters degrees in both Marine Conservation and Sustainable Development and writes regularly for the Guardian. Ed was also recently appointed as a London Sustainable Development Commissioner

yes Ed Gillespie - Futerra.. behind all these marketing advice to the UK Gov... to
Sell the Sizzle. and The Rules of The Game (and many more)

Jul 30, 2014 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Schrodinger's Cat (Jul 30, 2014 at 9:36 PM)

Maybe some people out there feel that they have the skills and motivation to organise something. I, for one, would be prepared to put in some time as a foot soldier.
Me too. It wouldn't take much organisation, simply the allocation of tasks among a number of volunteers all of whom have much the same skills.
I've frequently suggested here and elsewhere the creation of some kind of organisation to focus our concerns. My suggestion normally gets an enthusiastic reception from a half a dozen commenters, and a thumbs down from the vast majority.
If someone wants to start a discussion thread here on UK green organisations and their financing, I'll gladly join in with what I learned about the financing of the UKYCCC and some other groups. If someone could provide a list of relevant groups, that would be a great start.

Jul 30, 2014 at 10:17 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

This is a reversion to the Fascism of the 1930s. The renewables' scam, deliberately reducing the efficiency of the Electrical Grid, is a clever approach to Eugenics; to kill off half the Western populations over a generation, and 90% of the Third World.

It is no wonder that China and India are not playing along with the IPCC's fake fizzicks.

Jul 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

Unfortunately, Green US Environmental Protection Agency officials are disciplined recyclers of their hard drives.

Probably using hammers.

Would not want malodorous backdoor communications with pressure groups residue polluting the environment.

Jul 30, 2014 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterbetapug

Thinking about Geoff's suggestions above.

This really needs to be tied into Richard North's excellent work covering the EU angle and the EU's relationship with green activism:

Jul 31, 2014 at 12:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterKatabasis

@Katabasis that's definitely a good place to start. And here in Canada my fellow BC blogger, Vivian Krause, has been instrumental in uncovering funding connections - most of which originate in (and/or can be traced to) the US. And many of her findings have appeared over the years in Canada's National Post.

See: About Vivian Krause

Jul 31, 2014 at 12:54 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

I built a relevant database a few years ago but haven't had much time since. It can run under a more interactive framework than the old links offered below: I was never able to spark any interest in it.

Some data on prominent NGOs
An example NGO:
Main research entrance:
Example of a person:

Jul 31, 2014 at 5:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterpjb253
Jul 31, 2014 at 8:05 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

All you sceptics are funded by Big Oil.

Greenpeace said so. and so did the Sierra Club.....and WWF... and FoE...

Jul 31, 2014 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I'm not sure it would make any difference if all the funding sources could be identified.

Many Gruaniad readers would be perfectly happy to know that FOE, WWF, GP, etc. are being funded by billionaire foundations. To them, it is like the Victorian entrepreneurs who funded the schools and hospitals - why would anyone object?

Jul 31, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

No wonder they only fly first class!

Jul 31, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterlonetown

steveta_uk makes a crucial point about how this will be seen by greenies. The analogy with the Victorian era is very helpful, albeit discouraging. Geoff is on target too of course (Jul 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM and 10:17 PM). But Katabasis, backed by Hilary, at once shows one of the problems. And Richard North is not even a useless libertarian! For me it's expanding way beyond a sensible brief for Geoff's mooted outfit to endorse North's stuff, good though it may be. And there will be a thousand other such diversions and digressions. Worth noting in that context how well the GWPF sticks to the knitting. But a more populist voice will emerge. Blog identity and cultural issues will be part of that, because

My suggestion normally gets an enthusiastic reception from a half a dozen commenters, and a thumbs down from the vast majority.

is I'm sure wrong, once 'commenters' is replaced by 'readers'. Many don't wish to be seen to swim in an open sewer. I've never judged them for that.

Aug 1, 2014 at 9:22 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

(South South News feature coverage of global development issues, the United Nations, governments, world news, civil society, the private sector, and the global south)IGO

Aug 1, 2014 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterUSD

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