The BBC has come under fire for allowing former chancellor Nigel Lawson to discuss climate change - which he described as “clap trap” - on the Today programme.
The Green Party has lodged an official complaint and the broadcaster was criticised by prominent scientists Brian Cox and Jim Al-Khalili, who said it was “irresponsible and highly misleading” to suggest major environmental threats were a debatable issue.
Lord Lawson, responding to an intervention on the dangers of climate change by former US vice president Al Gore, said: “It’s the same old clap-trap. He’s the sort of bloke who goes around saying the end of the world is nigh.
“We should be concentrating on real problems like North Korea and disease.
“To divert resources and energy to non-problems is really ridiculous.”
Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley has written to the BBC to ask why Lord Lawson’s claims that global temperatures have fallen over the last ten years, and that fossil fuel companies do not receive any subsidies from the UK government, had not been challenged.
“It’s unbelievable that the BBC is giving almost unchallenged airtime to climate-dinosaurs like Lord Lawson,” he said.
“It’s the modern day equivalent of giving the smoking lobby a platform to deny that lighting up has any link to cancer.
“Climate change is an immediate threat and the BBC has a responsibility to provide a proper balance of opinions, not hand the airwaves over to someone with fringe views.”
In the letter, Bartley writes: “Inaccuracies are bad enough, but my real complaint is that the BBC would broadcast these views without challenging them.
“Reportage like this creates a false equivalency between the overwhelming consensus behind the science of climate change, and the discredited views of climate change deniers like Lord Lawson. It is false balance, and risks grossly misleading the public.
“I would urge the BBC not to give an unchallenged platform to discredited and compromised figures like Lord Lawson, especially when making demonstrably false claims about the science of climate change, and the UK energy market”.
The BBC has been approached for comment.