ExxonMobil gave $1.5 million to groups that deny climate change, according to an article in the Times of London last week. Greenpeace’s ExxonSecrets project documented almost $25 million given by the company since 1998 to climate change denial groups.
According to Greenpeace’s tabulations based on Exxon’s Worldwide Giving Report, the oil company gave about $1.3 million to climate change denial groups in 2009. Greenpeace also found that Exxon decreased its donations to climate change denial groups from 2005’s $3.5 million, and the number of groups funded dropped from 51 to 24.
Exxon pledged in 2007 to stop funding climate change denial groups. In its 2007 Corporate Citizenship Report, Exxon said:
In 2008 we will discontinue contributions to several public policy groups whose position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner.
“Some of Exxon’s largest donations were to groups that lobbied against a global deal on emissions being reached at the climate summit last December in Copenhagen,” the Times’ article stated. “Exxon could see the value of its oil and gas investments fall sharply if governments adopt aggressive plans to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.”
Exxon said it did not have funding ties with last year’s International Conference on Climate Change, an annual event put on by the Heartland Institute. However, the list published by Exxon this month of its “2009 worldwide contributions and investments” showed that it gave four cosponsors of the event $275,000 and $1 million to 20 other climate change denial groups. The four cosponsors were the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Media Research Center, the Pacific Research Institute and the Heritage Foundation.
After the Times contacted Exxon, the company announced it would not fund the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Media Research Centre or the Pacific Research Institute, but made no mention of the other 21 groups it gave money to last year.