Response to article by David Rose in ‘The Mail on Sunday’

Posted on 23 Oct 2016 in

Responding to the publication today of an article by David Rose in ‘The Mail on Sunday’, Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, said: “This article is riddled with serious mistakes, inaccuracies and misleading statements, and creates a wholly false impression of the work of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. We note that David Rose and ‘The Mail on Sunday’ have a track record of promoting climate change denial and misrepresenting the work of researchers, so we are not surprised at being targeted by them. As an example of the errors, the article cites Professor Richard Tol, who claims that one of the papers which he co-authored, ‘Equity weighting and the marginal damage costs of climate change’, should not have been cited as an output by one of the members of the Centre. But the article was published in 2009 in the journal ‘Ecological Economics’, after the Centre was founded on 1 October 2008, and was co-authored by Professor Cameron Hepburn, who was at the time, and still is, a member of the Centre. When the Economic and Social Research Council carried out a regular mid-term review of the Centre, we submitted a list of 520 research and policy outputs, including 276 published journal articles, which had been produced by members of the Centre during its first phase between 2008 and 2013. This list, which is published on the Centre’s website, explicitly identifies those papers that had been co-authored by members of the Centre, but which had not been funded by the Centre, such as the paper by Professor Tol and Professor Hepburn. We have discovered that seven publications in the list of 276 should have been identified as not having received Council funding, but were not, and we have notified the Council of the mistake. These mistakes will have had no bearing on the decision by the Council to continue funding for the Centre between 2013 and 2018. We were evaluated by a panel of experts, and these publications were not part of our core research programme. Mr Rose’s article also mistakenly confused the list of publications that was submitted to the Council for the mid-term review and the list of publications separately attributed to the Centre on RCUK’s ‘Gateway to Research’ database, which did not exist at the time that the mid-term review was carried out. The list of publications that was submitted to the mid-term review is available here: