Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to deliver keynote speech at climate-sceptic organisation's lecture

Spending on climate change work was slashed during Mr Paterson’s time running the Environment Department

Deputy Political Editor

Owen Paterson, who was sacked as Environment Secretary in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle, is preparing to speak publicly of his doubts that climate change is man-made.

Mr Paterson, who was replaced by Liz Truss, is to deliver the annual lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the climate-sceptic organisation set up by the former Chancellor Lord Lawson.

His decision is a foretaste of the trouble Mr Paterson, who is firmly on the Right of the Tory party and a staunch Eurosceptic, could cause for David Cameron.

The Prime Minister has warned that climate change is among the most serious threats facing the world and pledged to lead Britain’s greenest ever government.

However, spending on climate change work was slashed during Mr Paterson’s time running the Environment Department and he even argued global warming could be good for the country.

He has now made the clearest declaration of his climate change scepticism by agreeing to deliver the keynote speech to the foundation in October.

Lord Lawson has said his think-tank is “open-minded on the contested science of global warming”, but “deeply concerned about the costs and other implications of many of the policies currently being advocated”.

Critics have labelled its supporters “climate change deniers” and accused them of using unscientific material to bolster their claims.

 

Last year’s guest speaker was the former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, who described climate change campaigners as “zealots” and “alarmists” who pursued “a substitute religion”.

Last week the foundation suffered the embarrassment of being ordered by the Charity Commission to split into separate educational and political arms.

The commission explained that some of its activities “breached what is expected of an educational charity, namely that the material lacked balance and promoted a particular line of opinion”.

Guy Shrubsole, a climate change campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said: “This is beyond satire, and confirms Owen Paterson was never fit to hold the post of Environment Secretary.

“Liz Truss must make a clean break with her predecessor by backing urgent action to slash emissions, and by speaking to scientists and experts – not the climate quacks at the GWPF.”
A spokesman for Greenpeace, Ben Stewart, said: “Some people would say that for the last two years Paterson has been delivering a rolling 24/7 lecture for the GWPF. Maybe it’s for the best he’s come out of the closet and formalised the relationship.”

Liz Truss has replaced Owen Paterson as Environment Secretary (Getty Images) Liz Truss has replaced Owen Paterson as Environment Secretary (Getty Images)
Mr Paterson’s dismissal caused dismay among Right-wing allies who had lobbied hard against the move. Some Cameron loyalists believe the Prime Minister could have stored up trouble by returning him to the backbenches, where he could become a focus of dissent.

He made no secret of his dismay over being fired and signalled he was preparing to set out his views in public. He told Mr Cameron in his departure letter: “At this critical moment in our nation’s history, I have clear ideas on the future of the UK and its place in the world.”

During this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Paterson was deep in conversation with the former Cabinet minister Liam Fox, who turned down an offer of a junior post from Mr Cameron. Their appearance together prompted speculation they could lead internal opposition to Mr Cameron.

Downing Street is relying on Mr Paterson deciding not to rock the boat ahead of the general election to avoid charges he is highlighting the party’s internal divisions.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks
tv

Regular cast member Ste Hay, played by Kieron Richardson, is about to test TV boundaries

Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
techPerils of 'text neck' revealed
News
i100
News
Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt
peopleStonewall boss says many fear it could ruin their careers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager
Isis in Iraq: Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants

Isis takes a big step back

Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants
Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits: How to shop politically

How to shop politically

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits
The science of sex: What happens when science meets erotica

Sex on the brain

Fetishes, dominatrixes, kinks and erotica. They are subjects that should get the crowds flocking to a new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection