A New Climategate Scandal?

The East Anglia email scandal of 2009 was a major turning point in the climate change crusade. At the time I compared it to the Pentagon Papers—something that changed the narrative fundamentally.

Now there’s another climate scandal breaking. The Daily Mail reported yesterday about the apparent fraud of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP), a project of the London School of Economics and the University of Leeds in the UK. It has been closely associated with top figures from Tony Blair’s government, especially Nicholas Stern (of the shoddy Stern Review, for people with long memories of climate stunts). It seems the CCCEP is guilty of appropriating other people’s work and calling it their own. Maybe no one would care except that CCCEP has received a lot of taxpayer funding—at least 9 million Pounds worth to date.

Here’s some of David Rose’s report:

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. . .

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.

One of the persons quoted to devastating effect of Richard Tol, one of the world’s top environmental economists:

The paper cited by the CCCEP of which Prof Tol is a co-author was published online by the Ecological Economics journal on July 31, 2008.

At the time, he and the lead author, David Anthoff, were on the staff of the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin.

Their co-author, Cameron Hepburn, was at Oxford University. The research on ‘the marginal costs of climate change’ was funded by the European Commission and the Stockholm Environment Institute. . .

Prof Tol said: ‘Our paper had no relationship to the CCCEP. It came out of David Anthoff’s masters thesis. At the time, the CCCEP did not exist, and it only came into existence after the paper was published. Fraud means deception for financial gain. That is what this is.’

I’m a big fan of Richard Tol, for what it’s worth:

Richard Tol (right) and some other guy.

Richard Tol (right) and some other guy.

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