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UK Aid Money Going To Green Blob

November 4, 2018
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood


h/t Ian Magness



The Telegraph is up in arms about the latest fat cat to benefit from taxpayer largesse:



The head of a taxpayer-funded environmental charity has become one of the highest paid bosses in the voluntary sector after his pay package rose by 50 per cent to £232,000.

James Thornton, the head of ClientEarth, is now the highest paid green charity boss in Britain with his pay outstripping the heads of Greenpeace, WWF and Friends of the Earth.

The charity, which is based in East London, received nearly £1 million worth of funding from the Department for International Development last year.

It rose to prominence after mounting three successful legal challenges against the Government which forced it to overhaul its air pollution strategy in towns and cities.

In a way however, the story misses the real point – why is the DfID funding what is essentially a political organisation with little if anything to do with international aid?


This is Client Earth’s mission statement:

We use the law to shift the balance in favour of the public good. This approach is innovative, bold and a game-changer in the global fight to protect the environment.
We take governments to court – and win. We force polluting industries to shut down. We protect irreplaceable forests and vulnerable species. We empower people and NGOs with the legal rights to bring forward environmental battles of their own. Using the law means that we create real, long-lasting and embedded change


It is of course Client Earth, which defines the public good, but interfering in other countries’ affairs, whatever the motives, can hardly be regarded as aid or assistance.

And imposing western liberal values on third world countries can often be highly detrimental to their interests.

Climate change inevitably is one of their main areas of focus:

At ClientEarth, we serve the needs of the people. The people need clean air and water and a future in which their children can thrive. We use the power of law to deliver a healthy environment and to stop dangerous climate change.

As for aid itself, precious little seems to filter through to the third world. According to their latest accounts, their annual expenditure of £7.3m all goes on personnel costs, consultants, travel, publications, and Head Office costs.




They have 83 staff on their books, equating to average remuneration of £50K a year.

The £1m they get from DfID each year is clearly an important slice of their total income. Amongst other funders, the European Climate Foundation (ECF) stands out:


The ECF is the shadowy outfit that David Rose exposed in the Mail in 2014 in his report on the Green Blob. The ECF was set up to channel millions of pounds, much from progressive foundations in America, to British and European green lobby outfits, as Rose explained:

At the heart of the Blob is a single institution – the European Climate Foundation (ECF) – which has offices in London, Brussels, The Hague, Berlin and Warsaw.

Every year it receives about £20 million from ‘philanthropic’ foundations in America, Holland and Switzerland, and channels most of it to green campaign and lobby groups.

It refuses to disclose how much it gives to each recipient, and does not publish its accounts. But it admits that the purpose of these grants is to influence British and EU climate and energy policy across a broad front.

The most significant source for the ECF’s millions is a body called Climate Works – a private foundation which channels colossal sums to climate campaigners worldwide.

The Climate Works manifesto was set out in 2007 in a document entitled ‘Design to Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming’. It said that to be effective, a campaign to change government policies on energy and emissions would need at least $600 million from donors.

It was driven by the belief that without radical action, ‘we could lose the fight against global warming over the next ten years’.

It advocated the giving of generous grants to local campaigners in countries such as Britain who had detailed knowledge of the way their political systems operated.

As well as better energy efficiency, carbon taxes and emissions caps, they must ‘promote renewables and low emission alternatives’. Utility companies must be given ‘financial incentives’ – in other words, enormous subsidies from tax and bill payers – to make this happen.

Climate Works soon achieved its ambitious fundraising target, with a grant in 2008 of $500 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which spends the fortune amassed by the co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard computer firm. This was followed by further grants of up to $100 million, and donations of $60 million from the sister Packard foundation. In July, a report by a US Senate committee named the Hewlett foundation as a key element in a ‘billionaires’ club’ which effectively controlled the environmental movement, pumping more than half a billion dollars a year into green groups around the world.

It claimed these ‘wealthy liberals fully exploit the benefits of a generous tax code meant to promote genuine philanthropy and charitable acts’, but instead were transferring money to ‘activists’ to ‘promote shared political goals’.

One of the US-based Climate Works’s first acts was to set up and fund ECF as its European regional office. All ECF’s main funders are represented on ECF’s board, including Charlotte Pera, who is also Climate Works’s CEO. Susan Bell, ECF’s vice-chairman, was formerly the Hewlett foundation’s vice-president.

It is hard to assess the ECF’s full impact for a simple reason – although it publishes the names of some of the organisations it funds, it does not state how much it gives, nor exactly how this money is used.

The ECF’s Tom Brookes said: ‘The projects we fund all fall within the overall mission of the Foundation to support the development of a prosperous low-carbon economy in Europe.’

He would not explain why no amounts were stated, saying only that ECF’s annual report ‘describes the objectives of each ECF programme area and its significant grantees.

‘We are confident that this is a sufficient level of detail to provide insight into the work of the Foundation… Our policy on the information we publish reflects our responsibilities to our grantees and donors.’

Nevertheless, it is clear from the information that is available that the list of ECF funding recipients is a Who’s Who of the green movement, including Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the WWF, Client Earth, Carbon Brief, the Green Alliance, and E3G, the elite lobby group that persuaded the Government to set up the £3 billion Green Investment Bank.


Client Earth, not to mention many of its funders such as ECF, are clearly overtly political organisations. Serious questions need to be asked as to why the government is throwing millions of pounds of aid money at it.

  1. Saxonboy permalink
    November 4, 2018 11:24 am

    Great work once again Paul, it’s a wonder the Climate change elite havn’t shut you down yet ! Very powerful orgs’ at work here.The Cold War is over, the new world war is against developing nations via climate degrowth policies.

  2. November 4, 2018 11:41 am

    Most of these big charities (particularly the green ones) have recently been shown to be corrupt. They operate for the benefit of the bosses and do next to no charitable deeds. The list of such charities is very long:
    and on and on

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 4, 2018 11:56 am

    “We use the law to shift the balance in favour of the public good.”

    Unbelievable arrogance, they appoint themselves the deciders of what is in the public good.

    What they mean is “pervert the law to support our political agenda”.

    And what the green blob is doing, to energy bills as one example, is clear and present public harm.

    • November 5, 2018 9:14 am

      Subvert democracy basically – no doubt whilst complaining about businesses that do the same.

  4. Geoffb permalink
    November 4, 2018 12:04 pm

    Take a look at this…..there is a lot of money going into promoting climate change. Keeping scam artists going.

    • Rowland P permalink
      November 4, 2018 4:59 pm

      Truly frightening, this perversion of democracy by big business threatening elected governments into accepting their views.

  5. Tim Spence permalink
    November 4, 2018 12:09 pm

    The diversion of foreign aid money to the green blob first came to light under Tonly Blair, if memory serves then it was around the time that foreign aid green blob dosh was used to fund sterilization in India, although India has a long history of forced sterilization before the green blob got involved.

  6. Thomas Carr permalink
    November 4, 2018 12:30 pm

    Time to look at the statement lodged with the Charities Commission as to Client Earth’s purpose. Self aggrandisement and hubris typifies organisations who have lost their
    ( charitable) way.

  7. dennisambler permalink
    November 4, 2018 12:54 pm

    “why is the DfID funding what is essentially a political organisation with little if anything to do with international aid?”

    This is a version of the USEPA “Sue and Settle” strategy, where NGO’s sued the EPA to force them to do what they wanted to do in the first place, but weren’t allowed to. This is essentially what happened with Mass. vs EPA that led to the “Endangerment Finding” on CO2.
    “The USA was the birthplace of public interest environmental law, but it takes a global philanthropic strategy to tackle international environmental challenges like climate change, energy transition, deforestation and the protection of our oceans and fisheries.

    In response to demand from our US partners, in 2016, we established a independent 501 ( c ) (3), ClientEarth US, to provide tax benefits for our State side donors as well as a platform for exploring program partnerships and sharing our experience as well as our expertise across the Atlantic.”

    • November 4, 2018 8:59 pm

      It would be logical to have, as a condition of us funding you, an undertaking not to sue us.

  8. Robin Guenier permalink
    November 4, 2018 12:56 pm

    In this paper ClientEarth tells us that the UK’s “groundbreaking” Climate Change Act has been dangerously neglected. More action is necessary!

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      November 5, 2018 9:05 am

      That was two years ago. But they’re still at it:

      The UK’s world-leading climate legislation is not currently “driving the kind of progress we need” on cutting carbon, environmental lawyers have said.

  9. Hivemind permalink
    November 4, 2018 1:08 pm

    “Serious questions need to be asked as to why…”

    Another question we could ask, is “Who on Earth ever gave these people a tax-exempt status?”

  10. November 4, 2018 1:18 pm

    Overseas aid is meant to help relieve extreme poverty, maybe London prices now means that those poor charitable NGOs need assistance.

    Two factors may explain this cock-up (besides the free pass given to anything that claims to be green): the statutory requirement to spend 0.7% of GDP, meaning that money has to be shoveled into trucks when the annual deadline approaches, and the fact that certain charities no longer get money following extra-curricular activities of aid workers supporting the sex industry in disaster areas.

    What better way to avoid scandal than to shovel the surplus money to charities that don’t do anything.

    • keith permalink
      November 5, 2018 11:08 am

      Yes, and we know what idiot is responsible for the 0.7% of GDP. Cameron and all our idiot MP’s. And that fool wants to get back into politics, God help us!

  11. Mark Hodgson permalink
    November 4, 2018 1:35 pm

    Maybe this story should be one for BBC’s “Costing the Earth” programme, but I won’t hold my breath…

  12. Broadlands permalink
    November 4, 2018 1:40 pm

    And don’t forget those poor poor bears….

    Click to access pbi-2017-irs-990.pdf

  13. Vanessa permalink
    November 4, 2018 2:23 pm

    This is double what the Prime Minister gets. Would he like to run the country ??? No of course not, that is left to the dregs like Theresa May.

  14. November 4, 2018 2:34 pm

    1) Lobbyists masquerading as charities. A prime root to the Greenblob corruption.

    2) The best foreign aid is trade. Just buy goods from the poorer countries. Hopefully Brexit will enable this.

    3) Climate change is fact. You can’t lobby it away.

    • roger permalink
      November 4, 2018 10:13 pm

      3) Climate change is fact. You can’t lobby it away

      But blink and you’d miss it.

  15. November 4, 2018 4:23 pm

    Less industry and more overpaid whingers. Marvellous!

  16. November 4, 2018 5:45 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    ‘Laundering’ money for political influence 🤔

  17. markl permalink
    November 4, 2018 6:43 pm

    At some point you would think people would want to know on what their donations are being spent before giving. You think? 70% on “expenses” is atrocious but most Green charities are worse.

  18. The Informed Consumer permalink
    November 4, 2018 6:44 pm

    With the exception of the Royal British Legion and the Lifeboats, I no longer give to any charities because none of them can be trusted.

    As for philanthropic donations, you would imagine Messrs. Hewlett & Packard would have at least a grasp of science, sufficient that they can recognise the inconsistencies of the AGW scam.

    But then the virtue signalling wealthy elite couldn’t possibly admit Capitalism and free trade allowed them to make all their filthy lucre. That would put a damper on cocktail parties with their liberal government contacts, so they donate to pseudo environmental causes whilst taking advantage of tax breaks funded by the man in the street.

    All nice cheap PR and advertising.

    I’ll not be buying an HP product again.

    • HotScot permalink
      November 4, 2018 6:45 pm

      Damn, it’s done it again……….That should be HotScot!

      • Stuart Brown permalink
        November 4, 2018 8:16 pm

        HS – hate to depress you, and I know it’s the Mail, but

      • David Richardson permalink
        November 5, 2018 9:17 am

        Well Stuart Brown, as Mark Twain famously said “if you don’t read a newspaper you are ill-informed. If you do read a newspaper you are mis-informed.”

        I hope the link works. The other side of the story.

      • Stuart Brown permalink
        November 5, 2018 8:53 pm

        David Richardson – In this, as in many things, I am left feeling it would have been better if I just kept my mouth (PC) shut – the story just annoyed me, but I’ve no other knowledge. I’ve been witness in a couple of industrial tribunals where the ‘victim’ was not really the victim, and one of which where the press were definitely backing the wrong horse. On top of that, I admire and am absolutely humbled by the people who risk their lives to save others. But. The shenanigans of a lot of charity leadership leave me like Hot Scot, feeling unable to know what to do for the best. Money attracts parasites.

        So, you’ve made me do some digging. I don’t have an axe to grind with the RNLI – I don’t personally support them, and I assume they are no better or worse than any other big charity. At least they are a charity that does good work! According to their submission to the charities commission for 2017, the RNLI income was £202.4m.

        In 2017, most people working for the RNLI were volunteers – 8500+ of them. There were also 2440 employees (FTE) in 2017, and they cost the RNLI £80.2m if you include social security and pension payments. Or nearly £33K each. But that includes one director who is paid over £160K, or just shy of £189K including company NI payments, pension and car. 6 other directors were paid over £100K each. 45 other staff were paid over £60K each. Quite possibly they make huge donations and extra curricular efforts for the charity – I don’t know and can’t judge. Possibly for those worth way more than £160K per annum, that is the equivalent of me working for peanuts. I will never know. Possibly no big charitable organisation can rely entirely on volunteers.

        What I can look at, however, is that £80m is a big chunk of £200m.

    • dave permalink
      November 5, 2018 12:45 pm

      Regarding the ‘Lifeboats,’ their reply makes me uneasy.


      “We say: The RNLI has grown as it works to reduce the number of lives lost through coastal drowning by 50% by 20124.”

      I would have preferred:

      “We say: The RNLI has grown as it works[ ALONG WITH OUR MANY PARTNERS IN THE NATIONAL WATER SAFETY FORUM] to [ATTEMPT TO] reduce the number of lives through coastal drowning [FROM 68 IN 2017 to 34 in 2024].”

      I do sense ‘mission creep,’ and some hubris.

      I recall my school co-operating with the Royal Life Saving Society sixty years ago! I still have my life saving certificates! And I have sailed since the age of seven. So I am certainly all in favour of caution and education.

      There was an awful tragedy at Camber Sands, only a year or two, when five people drowned. They were from London;they just did not understand the local water. Accidents will happen.

      • dave permalink
        November 5, 2018 12:46 pm

        “20124”…that should be :2024″

      • David Richardson permalink
        November 5, 2018 6:48 pm

        Yes Dave – I don’t argue with you about the amount of creep in their mission., but times change. I sail less now but still pay my monthly fee and hope that I will never need their help.

        Paul Matthews over at Cliscep points out how scientist predicting mad outcomes play with the mental state of some people – raising their anxiety levels dangerously.

        You have the same thing with the reporting of this RNLI issue. Somebody who takes it all seriously and believes exactly what their told by the mail could act on the report and cancel their sub to the RNLI.
        It sounds as though the Mail were well briefed by the RNLI, but chose to publish the story they wanted to with little critical assessment of the situation.

        What other everyday issue suffers the same problem??

        It will come to me later!!

      • dave permalink
        November 5, 2018 8:29 pm

        “…play with the mental state of people…”

        I still have a copy of “The Hidden Persuaders” by Vance Packard. Sixty years on, he is forgotten – but the psycho-analytical techniques he exposed are but childs’ play compared to those of the modern monsters of cynical mendacity.

  19. Immune to propaganda permalink
    November 4, 2018 8:13 pm

    This Client Earth are a bunch of condescending arseholes sucking up funding then launching undemocratic attacks on the government whilst bypassing the people. They really need stopping before their heads exede the size of their dubious funding.

  20. BLACK PEARL permalink
    November 4, 2018 8:40 pm

    Its not a swamp that requires draining its a malodorous cesspit of corruption and self-serving scum bags which this report & the Brexit vote has exposed.
    All our tax money being flushed away and they ask us to tighten our belts !

  21. November 4, 2018 9:37 pm

    Paul, I saw your comment in the Telegraph.

    There are also 2 new comments

    Claiming that the CEO “gave up a lucrative career in commercial law” is simply untrue..
    He has been employed as an environmental activist for more than thirty years.

    @Michael France

    “In 2017, James co-authored a book with his husband Martin Goodman”

  22. November 4, 2018 9:44 pm

    Compare this against the way the Guardian lot go in hard against the GWPF
    “Oh GWPF doesn’t declare its funders, oh secrecy, big oil, big oil”
    …. There’s a good reason why GWPF can’t declare its funders, and that is cos of Greenpeace guys tradition of sending “we know where you live” letters, and engaging in games of intimidation.

  23. November 4, 2018 9:51 pm

    A hard-hitting anti-NGO article from Ghana, via Climate Etc:

  24. Athelstan permalink
    November 5, 2018 8:55 am

    taxpayers monies lashed out on ‘foreign aid’ but redirected and given to advocates who obscenely self award themselves massive stipends and then attempt to change public opinion in the UK, not only is this an egregious waste, it is also taking the piss.

    HMG takes us all for fools.

    • November 5, 2018 10:55 am

      HMG’ s executive nabobs see no way that they can have their feet dragged to the fire. Handing out other people’s money to their chums is presently a perk of the job – it must stop.

      Is it a myth that more borrowed money is handed out in foreign aid than is dispensed to local councils to top up their accounts beyond what is collected in council tax ?

      • Athelstan permalink
        November 5, 2018 11:51 am

        good points, all of them.

  25. November 5, 2018 9:15 am

    How did they manage to rack up nearly £400.000 in litigation costs?

    • November 5, 2018 12:04 pm

      Solicitors charge £250 an hour for routine tasks, the climate priesthood must get much more.

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