The Guardian reported yesterday that Michael Hintze, who runs a $5Bn hedge fund and is worth $1Bn in his own right, is both a major donor to the Conservative party, and a financial backer of the sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation thinktank.
It only requires a bit of cynicism to not be overly surprised by this. The list of names published after the weekend’s “cash for access” scandal was going to be raked over, and it’s rational behaviour for people like this to try and maintain their interests by whatever means necessary.
As it happens, I’ve been editing one of the conference book contributions today which makes exactly this point. I’ll let Paul Chambers have the last word:
My third point is about the power of corporate lobbying. The Stern Review’s rather reassuring figures of 1% of GDP for costs of climate mitigation masks significant distributional impacts – in other words there will be winners and losers. Where these losers are very wealthy individuals and companies, their ability to resist changes and to co-opt national decision making for their own benefit is of huge significance. We must find ways – maybe using the power of the internet as Bill [McKibben] suggested yesterday – to help our elected representatives to face down vested interests. Without this we will never be able to tackle climate change.