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A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists accuses several major US corporations of saying one thing and doing another when it comes to climate change. The environmental and scientific integrity group says that while some corporations say they support climate science in their public relations materials, they often actively work to derail regulations and laws addressing global warming via campaign contributions and lobbying.
The report, “A Climate of Corporate Control,” found that several companies said they were taking voluntary steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change, yet “half of them also misrepresented some element of established climate science in their public communications.”
One of the main culprits was multinational oil giant ConocoPhillips. On the company website in 2011 the company stated that it “recognizes” that human activity is leading to climate change, yet in 2009 it argued against the EPA’s ruling that greenhouse gases were pollutants endangering public welfare.
Other companies are also accused of environmental hypocrisy. General Electric is accused of hedging its bets by simultaneously backing six environmental and non-partisan research groups that accept climate change, while funding four organizations that reject or question the consensus, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
The report also highlights how much money these companies give to Super PACs, the so-called independent political groups that run ads for or against candidates. Speaking to the LA Times, Gretchen Goldman, a primary contributor to the UCS report said of the findings: “The difference between what many of these companies say and what they actually do is quite stark. And because we know only limited amounts about their activities, it’s relatively simple for companies to show one face to the public and another to policy makers.”
The damning report names and shames 28 publicly traded companies that have engaged in the climate change debate in the past three years. UCS looked at a range of corporate actions, from tax and SEC filings, earnings calls, government testimonies and funding to think tanks, trade groups and others. However, the report did not look at privately-held companies such as those held by longtime climate change deniers The Koch Brothers.
via LA Times