Sir Nicholas Stern is bekend van de zogenoemde Stern-‘review’ van tien jaar geleden, waarin een pleidooi werd gehouden voor een krachtig klimaatbeleid. Hij is ervoor in de adelstand verheven en mocht zitting nemen in het Hogerhuis. Dat gebeurt nogal eens in het Verenigd Koninkrijk als wetenschappers met beleidsondersteunende onderzoeksresultaten komen.

Volgens het rapport zouden we een catastrofale opwarming tegemoet gaan, maar de maatregelen om dat te voorkomen, zouden alleszins betaalbaar zijn. Het rapport rammelde aan alle kanten en heeft tot veel kritiek geleid. Toch heeft het mede als legitimatie gediend van het draconische Britse klimaatbeleid, dat de samenleving veel schade heeft berokkend, zonder dat daar een aantoonbaar klimaateffect tegenover stond. ‘All pain and no gain.’

In de ‘Mail on Sunday’ heeft David Rose nu een boekje open gedaan over de slinkse methoden, waaraan de organisatie waarvan Lord Stern voorzitter is, zich schuldig heeft gemaakt om subsidiegelden te verwerven.

David Rose:

Exposed: How top university helped secure £9million of YOUR money by passing off rivals’ research as its own … to bankroll climate change agenda.
One of the world’s leading institutes has claimed credit for its rivals’ work.
Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy made bid for more funds.
It claimed it was responsible for work published before it even existed.

One of the world’s leading institutes for researching the impact of global warming has repeatedly claimed credit for work done by rivals – and used it to win millions from the taxpayer.

An investigation by The Mail on Sunday also reveals that when the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) made a bid for more Government funds, it claimed it was responsible for work that was published before the organisation even existed. Last night, our evidence was described by one leading professor whose work was misrepresented as ‘a clear case of fraud – using deception for financial gain’. The chairman of the CCCEP since 2008 has been Nick Stern, a renowned global advocate for drastic action to combat climate change.

He is also the president of the British Academy, an invitation-only society reserved for the academic elite. It disburses grants worth millions to researchers – and to Lord Stern’s own organisation. …

The review argued that the world had to take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or face much higher future costs. It has exerted a powerful influence on successive British governments and international bodies.

Part of the CCCEP’s official mission, which it often boasts about in its public reports, is to lobby for the policies Lord Stern advocates by presenting the case for them with British and foreign governments and at UN climate talks.

Last night, CCCEP spokesman Bob Ward admitted it had ‘made mistakes’, both in claiming credit for studies which it had not funded and for papers published by rival academics. ‘This is regrettable, but mistakes can happen… We will take steps over the next week to amend these mistakes,’ he said.

The Mail on Sunday investigation reveals today that:

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which has given the CCCEP £9 million from taxpayers since 2008, has never checked the organisation’s supposed publication lists, saying they were ’taken on trust’;
Some of the papers the CCCEP listed have nothing to do with climate change … ;
Papers submitted in an explicit bid to secure further ESRC funding not only had nothing to do with the CCCEP, they were published before it was founded;
The publication dates of some of these papers on the list are incorrect – giving the mistaken impression that they had been completed after the CCCEP came into existence.


Richard Tol

Academics whose work was misrepresented reacted with fury. Professor Richard Tol, a climate change economics expert from Sussex University, said: ‘It is serious misconduct to claim credit for a paper you haven’t supported, and it’s fraud to use that in a bid to renew a grant. I’ve never come across anything like it before. It stinks.’ …

When it submitted this list, which includes the paper co-authored by Prof Tol, the CCCEP had already been awarded £4.7 million by the ESRC and was asking for another £4.4 million. It received this amount to cover the period 2013 to 2018.

The centre also gets generous funds from other government and private sources, such as American green billionaire Jeremy Grantham. This year, it was awarded a £374,000 grant to pay for a three-year CCCEP fellowship by the British Academy, presided over by Lord Stern. These grants make it one of the most lavishly funded institutions of its kind in the world, with an income since 2008 of more than £30 million.

Lord Stern has also become personally wealthy through his climate change work. When it last filed accounts a year ago, his company, NS Economics Ltd, set up to handle his public speaking income, had a bank balance of £349,000. He is also paid as an advisory director of the giant Spanish solar energy firm Abengoa SA. …

In Nederland zijn talloze gevallen bekend waar zelfs de schijn van belangenverstrengeling tot terugtreden van betrokkenen leidde. In het VK is dat kennelijk geen beletsel om in het Hogerhuis terecht te komen en te blijven.

Academic funding experts reacted with astonishment to our investigation. Lord Willetts, the Universities Minister from 2010 to 2014, said: ‘There is an assumption that academics are bound by ethical principles. The system relies on trust as well as policing by administrators.’

Dr Wager said: ‘It’s troubling the funder has not spotted this. If you’re claiming credit for work when you shouldn’t, that is not fair to other institutions who play by the rules.’

Former Labour Minister Lord Donaghue, a governor of the LSE for 25 years, called for an inquiry, saying: ‘To preserve the academic integrity of the LSE, it is necessary that the relevant funding authorities launch a full investigation.’

Lees verder hier.

Tegels lichten in klimatologenland levert niet zelden verrassende resultaten op.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.