‘We need more genuine science’: Tony Abbott joins climate sceptic think tank

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has joined a 'lonely' voice in climate denial.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has joined a 'lonely' voice in climate denial. Photo: AAP/Getty

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has been welcomed into a leading climate sceptic think tank while calling for more “genuine science” and less “groupthink”.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation announced Mr Abbott would join its board of trustees and assist its objectives to “foster a culture of debate, respect and scrutiny”.

The UK-based foundation, which has been labelled a “climate denying group” by Australia’s Climate Council organisation, was founded in 2009 by former UK chancellor Nigel Lawson.

In a statement, Mr Abbott said he was pleased to be joining GWPF because it “consistently injected a note of realism into the climate debate”.

“All of us want to save the only planet we have but this should not be by means which impoverish poorer people in richer countries and hold poorer countries back,” he said.

“Right now, in countries like Australia, the impact of climate policy is to make electricity less affordable and less reliable rather than perceptibly to cool the planet.

“We need more genuine science and less groupthink in this debate — that’s where the GWPF has been a commendably consistent if lonely voice.”

Mr Abbott controversially gave GWPF’s annual lecture in 2017 when he suggested climate change was “probably doing good”.

GWPF’s director Benny Peiser has previously stated “it’s extraordinary that anyone should think there is a climate crisis”.

He has also stated that climate “alarmism” was driven by “scientists’ computer modelling rather than observational evidence.”

GWPF chair Jerome Booth said Mr Abbott would bring a global perspective and policy insight to the board of trustees.

“He will further assist our objectives and help our efforts to foster a culture of debate, respect and scrutiny in policy areas that are currently dominated by intolerance, high emotions, moral reasoning and confusion,” Dr Booth said.

Fellow Australians who advise the GWPF include retired meteorologist William Kininmonth and Garth Paltridge, emeritus professor at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania.

Mr Abbott led the coalition to a landslide election victory over Labor in 2013, before being ousted by Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership spill in 2015.

Independent Zali Steggall took the federal seat of Warringah — spanning Sydney’s northern beaches — from Mr Abbott in 2019, campaigning widely on action against climate action.

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