The BBC has told staff they no longer need to invite climate-change deniers on to its programmes, suggesting that allowing them to speak was like letting someone deny last week’s football scores.
It has also asked all editorial staff to take a course on how to report on climate change and said that its coverage of the topic “is wrong too often”.
New BBC editorial policy on climate change states: “To achieve impartiality you do not need to include outright deniers of climate change in BBC coverage, in the same way you would not have someone denying that Manchester United won 2-0 last Saturday. The referee has spoken.”
In April Ofcom ruled that the Today programme on Radio 4 had breached broadcasting rules by “not sufficiently challenging” Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Conservative chancellor of the exchequer and a climate-change sceptic, over claims he made in an interview.
Lord Lawson is the founder of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a “climate sceptic” think tank. The director of the foundation said that the new BBC policy was “basically telling editors: ‘Don’t touch the GWPF.’ ”