UK Universities Receive £72 Million p.a. For Climate Research
By Paul Homewood
In December, I submitted the following request under the FOI Act to all UK universities :-
"Please supply a list of research grants received during 2010 that relate to climate research,the effects of climate change or mitigation of climate change”.
I can now reveal, from the replies from 56 universities, that the total amounts to over £72 million. Most of this is provided either by government funded Research Councils (EPSRC/NERC/ESRC), the EU, or is funded directly by government departments.
The average is £1.3 million per university, although several receive significantly more. The full list is shown in Appendix A. It is, perhaps often assumed that most climate research is limited to the University of East Anglia and a handful of others. This analysis proves that this is not the case and that the majority of universities benefit significantly from taxpayers’ largesse.
In addition, I can also reveal that, during the financial year 2009/10 (the most recent for which the data is available), Research Council spending on “climate change research and training” amounted to £234 million. This analysis was provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on behalf of Research Councils UK (RCUK).
Total figures for Research Council spend on climate change research and training based on high level categories assigned
|FY||Mitigation||Adaptation||Training (M)||Training (A)||Fund. Climate Science||Infrastructure||TOTAL|
This would suggest that the bulk of the funding actually goes to organisations other than universities.
I also asked the UK Met Office for details of funding that they receive and received this reply :-
The Met Office received revenue of £1.2 million for the financial year 2010/11 in respect of climate research, the effects of climate change or mitigation of climate change. This funding was received from the EU Commission, predominantly under the EU Framework Programme.
In addition, whilst not considered to be grant funding, the revenue for the Hadley Centre Climate Programme for 2010/11 was £17.5 million from the government.
[As the Met Office is part of the Ministry of Defence, its basic running costs are paid by the UK government.]
Finally the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change received core funding from the EPSRC/NERC/ESRC during financial year 2009/10, which amounted to £2992205.
In total it would appear UK taxpayers are paying out in excess of £300 million p.a. for climate change related research, in addition, of course, to the billions paid out in subsidies for renewable energy etc.
It is evident that climate change research has become a very large industry in its own right. What university can afford to turn down a million or so every year? How many will risk upsetting the apple cart by allowing dissent in their ranks? How many scientists would be out of a job if the funding tap was turned off?
Let’s be clear about one thing. This sort of money corrupts. It corrupts both individuals and organisations. Climate research funding is agenda driven, rather than result driven; it exists in large part because climate change is perceived as a problem. Research that attempts to prove otherwise is unlikely to be funded at all and even less likely to attract future grants, while scientists who exaggerate the dangers or effects will have no such problems.
It is time to turn the tap off.
1) Some universities provided information based on the 2010/11 financial year, others for the 2010 calendar year.
2) According to the EPSRC – “Not all Councils have spend data for 09/10, so in some cases 08/09 figures have been used instead”. (Yes, I know. This seems a remarkably cavalier way to account for public money!)
3) Although I asked for details of “funding received within the year”, some universities were only able to provide details of “grants awarded within the year”.
4) Judging by the responses, some universities have interpreted my request more narrowly than others, so the figure of £72 million may be underestimated. This suspicion is reinforced by the figures provided by RCUK.
5) Full details of grants are available for each university for anybody who would like to see them.
|CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH GRANTS 2010|
|WEST OF ENGLAND||285731|
|EPSRC ALL GRANTS||234567102|