Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage

Background

Until recently, Nigel Farage was the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which Farage helped found. He has previously cast doubt on the scientific consensus surrounding hunan-caused climate change.

UKIP’s primary goal was to seek the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Following Britain’s successful EU referendum in June 2016 Farage stepped down as party leader saying his “political ambition has been achieved”. During the Brexit campaign, Farage was a leading member of the unofficial pro-Brexit groups Leave.EU and Grassroots Out.

Since then Farage has toured the US and Europe visiting like minded conservative groups and appearing as a commentator on Fox News.

Stance on Climate Change

Farage and his UKIP party have long engaged with climate science denial. In December 2014, just as scientists announced that 2014 was on course to be the hottest year on record, Farage told an audience at a voter engagement event that he had “no idea” whether he believed in climate change. “Be careful of the scientific consensus,” he said.

UKIP’s most recent party manifestos for the 2015 and 2017 elections have both pledged to undo green initiatives. In 2015 it stated “the Climate Change Act is doing untold damage. UKIP will repeal it.” It also argued that “coal must be part of the solution” for cheap energy security and that it’s “times to get fracking”. These themes were repeated in 2017 when the party manifesto called again for the UK Climate Change Act to be repealed while pledging to “withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and the EU Emissions Trading scheme”.

Key Quotes

February 2018

On Twitter:

November 2015

In an interview with Spiked online:

I haven’t got a clue whether climate change is being driven by carbon-dioxide emissions.” 

I think wind energy is the biggest collective economic insanity I’ve seen in my entire life. I’ve never seen anything more stupid, more illogical, or more irrational.”

June 2013

In an interview with Edie:

“I am not saying that man is having no influence on the climate, although as the years go by it looks increasingly unlikely. To be told that the science is settled [on global warming] is hard to accept. Where I grew up, our back wall joined onto Down House where Charles Darwin wrote [On the Origin of Species] and 150 years on, the science isn't settled over Darwin and I can tell you science is never settled.”  

“It's odd to focus on carbon dioxide. I'm an environmentalist; I'm against carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide and toxins in our rivers. Yes, I'm all for pollution controls but to obsess with carbon dioxide, which as I understand it, is a perfectly natural occurring phenomenon, strikes me as strange.”  

September 2013

Speaking in the European Parliament:

“We may have made one of the biggest and most stupid collective mistakes in history by getting so worried about global warming.” 

Key Deeds

November 2016

Nigel Farage claimed the distinction of being Donald Trump’s first meeting with a foreign politician after winning the US presidential race. A photo taken on 12 November shows the two men standing in front of Trump’s golden elevator in New York City alongside millionaire UKIP and Brexit-backer Arron Banks, Breitbart UK editor Raheem Kassam, unofficial Brexit campaign group Leave.EU pollster Gerry Gunster, and Andy Wigmore, communications director of Leave.EU.

July 2016

Farage attended the Republican National Convention during the 2016 election race where Donald Trump successfully ran for President of the United States. His goal was to spread the “Brexit gospel” as Politico reported at the time. “I think there are a lot of Republican strategists who are looking very closely at what we did and how we did it,” Farage told POLITICO, adding “All I can do is to come and tell my story.”

July 2015

Farage delivered a speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. where he made the case for the US to support Brexit. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative “free enterprise” group with a history of promoting climate science denial.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons | CC3.0