The president of a forum for European energy policy makers has defended a decision to host a presentation from a climate science denialist that was paid for by the coal industry.
Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Energy Forum (EEF) and former president of the European Parliament, said the presentation by Canadian Patrick Moore had “inspired surprise rather than interest.”
But while defending the forum's right to host “different perspectives” Buzek, a Polish MEP, characterised Moore’s contribution as being among the “less rational” of those engaged in the “fight against global warming”.
DeSmogUK revealed that EURACOAL, the coal industry’s umbrella industry group across Europe, had covered Moore’s expenses and paid him to prepare his February presentation, which claimed carbon dioxide was good for the planet.
Moore, who has no scientific qualifications in climate science, has repeatedly claimed there is no evidence that carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels is causing global warming.
Moore’s view goes against all credible advice from scientific academies across the globe. Buzek told DeSmogUK:
EURACOAL describes itself as “the voice of coal in Europe” and acts as an umbrella group for associations and research groups across 20 countries.
For a large majority of those participating in the EURACOAL event, it was clear that the views presented by Mr Patrick Moore were quite extreme, and as such inspired surprise rather than interest.
Nevertheless, it is important to know the arguments even of those sometimes less rational or more radically inclined contesters of the fight against global warming.
All the more so that during some other EEF dinner-debates, we have the opportunity to exchange views with those representing the radically opposite views, advocating - for example - an immediate ban on coal.
Large fossil fuel corporations and industry groups dominate EEF’s listing of “associate members”, which includes BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Statoil, Total and EURACOAL.
Buzek said all EEF “associated members” had the right to propose contributors and its dinner debates represented “varied approaches and different perspectives.”
Buzek, who is also co-chair of the European Parliament's round table on coal, added: “This is a matter of our credibility and a key element of our approach.”
Moore has defended his decision to accept the cash from EURACOAL, saying on Twitter: “Would you fly to Europe from Vancouver, pay own way and work for free to speak your mind to EU parliamentarians?”
When asked to comment on his EURACOAL presentation, Moore told DeSmogUK last week: “I consider DeSmog to be a hate site. So bugger off.”
Moore has connections to several groups that push misinformation on climate change science, including as a director of the newly-formed CO2 Coalition – a group that emerged from the apparently now defunct George C. Marshall Institute.
Last year an undercover Greenpeace investigation targeted Princeton University Professor William Happer, another CO2 Coalition director.
Speaking to a Greenpeace activist posing as a fictitious fossil fuel lobbyist, Happer asked that any funds for his work should be directed through the CO2 Coalition.
Photo from left to right: EURACOAL's Brian Ricketts, East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer and Patrick Moore. Photo via EEF.