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Julia Steinberger’s letter to Michael J Kelly of the GWPF

Julia Steinberger
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Dear Professor Michael J Kelly,

I am writing to you as a scientist. I have a PhD in experimental physics, and moved on to study the biophysical resource use of economies, as well as the links between social progress and resource use. I have led a very successful project entitled “Living Well Within Limits” funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and am an IPCC Lead Author on Working Group 3 for the 6th Assessment.


Professor Michael J Kelly. Image: GWPF


Last week Steve Baker stood down from his role as trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. I welcome this even if his motivation is just to further his career as minister for Northern Ireland.

I have a particular objection as a scientist to the GWPF claims that their papers are ‘peer reviewed’. You will also be aware that papers referenced by GWPF commissioned authors are not blind reviewed, but rubber stamped by other GWPF members and as such have no standing in the broader scientific world.

Another characteristic of the GWPF is their tendency to cherry pick from both their own work and from other papers of greater academic standing. This has been much criticised in the press and yet the GWPF persist in this approach.

Earlier this year Open Democracy ran a story about finding that fossil fuel interests from the States had been found to give funding to the GWPF in spite of the many assertions by the latter organisation over the years.

The unpopularity of the GWPF as an obstruction to climate action continues to grow. If you maintain your role it is likely to impact any other charities for which you have a similar relationship.

Julia Steinberger, arrested in Switzerland for taking non-violent direct action on the same day this letter was released.


So I invite you to look to stand down from your position as trustee. Writers Rebel is pursuing a charity commission complaint against the foundation because we sincerely believe the GWPF role at this time is not ‘for the greater good of humanity’. I invite you to join Steve Baker and resign your post.

If you would like to discuss this in person with me. I would be happy to do so.


Professor Julia Steinberger

Institute of Geography and Sustainability

Faculty of Geosciences and Environment

University of Lausanne


Visiting Professor, University of Leeds