Tory donor who funds climate denial campaign group set to become peer

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Australian Billionaire Michael Hintze (Getty Images for Kaspersky)
Australian Billionaire Michael Hintze (Getty Images for Kaspersky)

A Tory donor who helped fund a lobby group campaigning against net-zero climate action will be made a member of the House of Lords, it has been reported.

Australian billionaire Michael Hintze, who funds the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), will receive a peerage, according to the Sunday Times.

Greenpeace UK accuses the organisation of “spending the last 20 years campaigning to preserve our addiction to fossil fuels”.

Green MP Caroline Lucas blasted the appointment as “utter hypocrisy” considering the prime minister’s net-zero climate pledges and called for an investigation.

She told DeSmog: “It’s already an insult to democracy that the prime minister is stuffing the House of Lords with his billionaire Tory donors.

“But the fact that those billionaires are funding climate denial and delay – barely six months after he claimed we were at ‘one minute to midnight’ in a race to avert the impending climate crisis – exposes the utter hypocrisy of any climate pledge that comes out of his mouth.”

Mr Hintze, founder and co-chief executive of the global asset management fund CQS, is a major Tory donor.

The GWPF campaigns against the UK’s 2050 net-zero target and recently published a paper claiming that there is “no evidence of a climate crisis” – a claim at odds with the vast majority of climate scientists.

The GWPF and the Conservative Party have been contacted for comment.

Last month the Independent reported how the GWPF – which has close links to Tory MP Steve Baker – has received hundreds of thousands of pounds from an oil-rich foundation with large investments in energy firms.

The GWPF refuses to disclose its donors in the UK and says it does not take money from fossil fuel interests.

But US tax documents identified by investigative journalists at the OpenDemocracy website show the lobbyists, who also use the brand "Net Zero Watch", have a donor with $30 million (£24.2 million) shares in 22 companies working across coal, oil and gas.

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