How some think tanks are backing fossil fuel dependency

Barry White

A recent article by openDemocracy, an independent UK based media platform, believes that a number of influential ‘right-wing’ UK think tanks with close access to government ministers have received millions in ‘dark money’ donations from the US. They report that while all the think tanks say they do not dispute the science on climate change, many are campaigning to increase the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels and deregulate energy markets in response to the cost of living crisis.

It reports that the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Adam Smith Institute and the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) have all called for the UK’s ban on fracking to be overturned. In April, the government agreed to review the moratorium it had imposed in 2019, when scientists deemed fracking unsafe. The U-turn came after concerted pressure from anti-net zero Tory MPs and lobby groups.

The IEA has also called for the government to approve the opening of a new coal mine in Cumbria, while the TaxPayers’ Alliance has called for the government to scrap green energy bill levies. Tory MP Ben Bradley has cited the TaxPayers’ Alliance in Parliament while claiming that levies will exacerbate the cost of living crisis.

Environmental groups say cutting the levies, which are used to invest in energy efficiency measures and renewable energy, would be self-defeating and merely delay the UK’s longer-term transition away from fossil fuels.

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About openDemocracy: Founded in 2001, it states that through reporting and analysis of social and political issues, they seek to “challenge power and encourage democratic debate” around the world. More at:

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