International Policy Network

The International Policy Network IPN (formerly called The Atlas Economic Research Foundation UK established by Trust Deed in 1971) is a corporate-funded campaigning group based in the UK set up in 2001. It originally had offices around the world in the USA, Chile and India By 2003 all of the offices had closed down apart from the London one.

Historically, the IPN can be seen as a UK-based version of the Atlas Foundation. It was founded by Antony Fisher in the UK as the International Institute for Economic Research (IIER) in 1971.

The IPN has addresses in London and Washington D.C. The Washington address is the same as that of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Roger Bate who is an IPN Fellow, and a long-time associate of the IPN's Director Julian Morris, is an Adjunct Fellow of the CEI. Kendra Okonski who is the IPN's 'Project Director' in London was previously a CEI researcher.

Okonski and Morris appear to be the driving force behind another organisation, the Sustainable Development Network (SDN), while Morris and Bate connect to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF).

The IPN is connected with the White House Writers Group, a for-profit corporate lobbying company (the senior director at the White House Writers Group is also a trustee of the IPN).

Nicole Gray Conchar of the London-based International Policy Network (IPN) and the Stockholm Network, presented the fundraising techniques used by US think tanks such as the Cato Institute and the Manhattan Institute.

In Europe, unlike the US, it is harder to raise money through individual donations, so she encouraged think tanks to "go for corporate money". The IPN, known for its aggressive campaign against the Kyoto Protocol, has started holding breakfast meetings with groups of 15-20 potential funders, mainly from the corporate world.

The think tank also raises funds in the US and has run into controversy due the financial support it receives from the Exxon Mobil Foundation for "Climate Change Outreach".

Gray Conchar did not mention these troubles and recommended to follow IPN's example and establish a US affiliate with 501(C)(3) charity status. This enables foundations to receive tax deductible donations. Kelly-Gagnon added that the Atlas Economic Research Foundation can help channel US funding to those European think tanks that do not have 501(C)(3) status.

Atlas Foundation, funded by US corporations and rightwing family foundations, works to export the neoliberal think tank model across the globe.

The great majority of the IPN's income from donations is from corporations: in both 2003 and 2004 the proportion was about 85%.

The IPN is currently running a technology campaign, apparently to promote the use of software patents in Europe.

It has also become involved in international pharmaceutical issues, seeking to defend the pharmaceutical industry from claims that it ignores the diseases of the developing world in favour of the more profitable lifestyle diseases of wealthy countries.

IPN is promoting privatization of water systems in third world countries, recently presenting their work at an American Enterprise Institute symposium on "Water Scarcity" in Washington DC on 3/22/06 broadcast on CSPAN.

In 2001, the IPN held a seminar on "Global warming - a European myth" by Philip Stott who says that global warming is a "lie".

IPN had received $50,000 from ExxonMobil, which "list[ed] the donation as part of its 'climate change outreach' programme." ExxonMobil also gave $115,000 to the IPN in 2004.

As well as supporting a variety of think-tanks, the IPN has particularly close links with the following groups:

* Atlas Economic Research Foundation
* Institute of Economic Affairs
* Stockholm Network
* Competitive Enterprise Institute

From Indymedia;

"The International Policy Network is a little-known lobby group set up in 2001 with drug company money. It works by setting up websites, which appear to the casual viewer as NGOs, to promote the interests of its corporate clients. It works closely with its clients' more traditional PR companies: it collaborates with corporate lobbyists DCI Group and the senior director from PR firm the White House Writers' Group even has a seat on the IPN's board.

The IPN is the bastard child of the Institute of Economic Affairs, a rightwing think-tank established in 1955. The IEA itself has published some peculiar reports including one calling for money to be "denationalised". But the IEA's rightwing agenda is at least able to claim some independence. The IEA says it limits any corporation's funding to 2 percent of its turnover and does not accept money tied to research areas. The International Policy Network's executive director Dr Julian Morris previously worked at the IEA but he has inherited none of his former employer's ethics.

The IPN is shameless: its activities directly correlate to the size of the cheque. Its main funders, Pfizer, Microsoft, ExxonMobil and Monsanto, get exactly what they pay for: their positions supported "independently" by IPN research. Pfizer gets reports defending its position on intellectual property and drug reimportation, Microsoft gets rabbid anti-Linux advocacy, Exxon gets global warming denial and Monsanto gets defences of gene patents and an anti-organic campaign.

Exxon Secrets
Media Transparency
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IPN Network 2001
About IPN 2002
IPN 2005
Greenhouse effect 'may benefit man'
British Science Group Says Exxon Misrepresents Climate Issues
Royal Society Tells Exxon: Stop Funding Climate Change Denial
International Policy Network and Dr Julian Morris