Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute


The Fraser Institute is a libertarian think tank based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They describe themselves as a “independent non-partisan research and educational organization.”

The institute's mandate is to measure and study “the impact of markets and government interventions on the welfare of individuals.”

Stance on Climate Change

“The actual climate change in many locations has been relatively small and within the range of known natural variability. There is no compelling evidence that dangerous or unprecedented changes are underway.” [1]


The Vancouver Observer has been able to confirm through U.S. tax records that the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation has donated $625,500 to the Frasier Institute since 2007. [8]

Media Transparency breaks down the Fraser Institute's Funding as follows: [2]

Greenpeace found that the Fraser Institute received $350,500 from Koch foundations between 2005 and 2009. [14]

Key People

  • Michael Walker, President, Fraser Institute Foundation, and Senior Fellow.
  • Kenneth Green — Past Chief Scientist (2002 - 2005) and previous head of Fraser Institute's “Environmental Literacy Council.” [3], [4] Also Past “Co-ordinating editor” of the Fraser Forum. [5]
  • Willie Soon Contributing author. [6] Past member of Fraser institute’s “CANSTAT” advisory board from 2002 to at least 2005. [7]
  • Barry Cooper  Past Director, Alberta Policy Research Centre, and past Senior Fellow. [8]
  • Ross McKitrick — Currently Senior Fellow. [9]
  • Dennis T. Avery Contributor.

DeSmogBlog found that 9 of the Fraser Institute's 47 directors can be clearly linked to the oil, gas, and coal industries:

William (Bill) Siebens founded Siebens Oil and Gas Ltd in the 1950s and is still at it.  His lifetime of extracting fossil fuels earned him a spot in the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame.

Roger Phillips sits on the board of directors of Imperial Oil, Canada’s largest oil company.  Imperial is 70% owned by ExxonMobil and has a 25% stake in Syncrude Canada, the largest producer of oil from tar sands.

John Dielwart is the president and CEO of Arc Energy Trusts, one of Canada’s largest conventional oil and gas royalty trusts.

Paul Hill is the president and CEO of the Hill Companies.  According to his bio, “he is a past director of Canada Trust, North Canadian Oils Ltd.,, US Forest Industries, the Canadian Forces Liaison Committee and the Asia Pacific Foundation to name a few. He is a member of the World Presidents and Chief Executives Organizations.”

Gwyn Morgan is a current director and former President and CEO of EnCana Corporation, one of North America’s largest natural gas producers.  Morgan has been described as one of the most powerful men in the oil patch and spent his lifetime building an oil empire in Alberta.

Herbert Pinder, another current director of ARC Resources, also serves as director for “a number of private energy companies,” according to his ARC Energy Trusts bio.

Also on Fraser’s board are Charles Barlow of gas exploration company Barlow Brothers Ltd;  R. Jack Pirie who is associated with private oil company Sabre Energy Ltd.; and John Hagg, CEO of tar sands extractor Northstar Energy.


February 5, 2008

The Fraser Institute hosted Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist on a cross-country speaking tour. [10]

October 16, 2008

The Fraser Institute hosted Ezra Levant, since author of the controversial book Ethical Oil, in Calgary as part of its “Behind the Spin” speaker series. [11]

February 5, 2007

The Fraser Institute released their Independent Summary For Policymakers (ISPM) report shortly after the Independent Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Summary for Policy Makers which was part of their Fourth Assessment Report on Climate Change (AR4). [12]

The current version of the ISPM report, revised in March, 2007, is available on the Fraser Institute Website. The original version, with additional notes and critiques by RealClimate, can be viewed here (PDF).

SourceWatch also documents a list of the errors and discrepancies in the original report.

The following were contributors or editors to the report:

Writing Team

January 1, 2003

Published an issue of the Fraser Forum devoted to “The Politics, Science, and Economics of Kyoto”. Authors who contributed to this issue included prominent climate change deniers Sallie Baliunas, Barry Cooper, Kenneth Green, Ross McKitrick, and Willie Soon.

According to the editor, “The issue also explains, in as clear and non-technical a language as possible, the scientific reasons why the Kyoto Protocol is unsound.”

Although the issue focusses on Kyoto, Sallie Balliunas and Willie Soon also co-published an an article skeptical of man-made climate chang titled “The Varying Sun & Climate Change.” [13]

Related Organizations


  1. “Independent Summary for Policymakers IPCC Fourth Assessment Report” (PDF), The Fraser Institute, February 5, 2007. Republished with annotations by RealClimate.

  2. Fraser Institute,” Media Matters. Accessed December, 2011.

  3. Climate-change 'skeptics' hopeful Harper accepts their view,” Canwest News Service, October 16, 2006.

  4. Senior Research Staff,” The Fraser Institute. Archived March 10, 2004.

  5. Fraser Forum, January 2003 (PDF).

  6. Research & News: Willie Soon,” Fraser Institute. Accessed December, 2011.

  7. CASE STUDY: Dr. Willie Soon, a Career Fueled by Big Oil and Coal,” Greenpeace.

  8. Senior Research Staff,” The Fraser Institute. Archived January 3, 2004.

  9. About Us: Staff: Senior Fellows,” Accessed December, 2011.

  10. Up Front: A skeptic's view on climate change,” The Fraser Institute, February 5, 2008.

  11. Ezra Levant speaks freely,” The Fraser Forum, November 3, 2008.

  12. Independent summary of UN climate change report to be released in London on Monday, February 5,” The Fraser Institute, January 30, 2007. Archived March 23, 2007.

  13. Fraser Forum - January 2003: The Politics, Science, and Economics of Kyoto,” The Fraser Institute, January 1, 2003.

  14. Fraser Institute - Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace. Accessed December, 2011.

  15. Fraser Institute,” Wikipedia article.

  16. Fraser Institute,” SourceWatch profile.

  17. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Fraser Institute.

  18. Koch foundation donated again to Fraser Institute in 2011, U.S. tax records show,” Vancouver Observer, October 31, 2013.