Corporations Funding Climate Change Denial

ConocoPhillips acknowledges on its Web site that humans are contributing to climate change:

We recognize that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gas (GHG) in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate.

On the other hand, the company’s ratio of pro-climate to anti-climate contributions tells a different story. According to the Union of Concerned Scientist’s (UCS) new report, they spend over 15 times more on the anti-climate side.

“A Climate of Corporate Control” digs behind the corporate-responsibility rhetoric and finds the long arm of money that underlies the report’s subtitle: “How Corporations Have Influenced the U.S. Dialogue on Climate Science and Policy.”

UCS scrutinized 28 of the companies most engaged in climate change policy. Among other things, they examined the companies’ public relations materials, their annual reports, shareholder actions, congressional engagements, and funding to outside organizations. After analyzing the data, they categorized each company as Consistent, Contradictory, or Obstructionist.

ConocoPhillips ended up in the top third of the Contradictory category, which actually puts them in a better light than 17 other companies with lower rankings. Every company on the list has made public statements of concern about climate change, but only a handful (e.g., NRG Energy, NIKE, and AES Corporation) are backing up their pronouncements with action.

On the other hand, based on the information UCS was able to access, half of the companies misrepresented climate science in their public communications, and the majority of them found other ways to spread misinformation. They lobbied politicians, joined trade groups and funded conservative think tanks.

Francesca Grifo, director of UCS’s Scientific Integrity Program, said:

The actions of many of these companies come right from the tobacco industry playbook, where the end goal is delaying sensible regulations that protect our health and safety. Companies generally find that complying with new rules is not as burdensome as they first imagined. But that doesn’t prevent them from obfuscating the science to create confusion and delay.

Julie M. Rodriguez wrote a sobering post for Care2 Causes on March 29th: Scientists Warn Climate Change May Be Irreversible. She points out that the window for action is narrowing by the day, yet these and other corporations continue to undermine climate action around the globe.

The corporations on UCS’s list are only a handful of the companies destroying the environment and contributing to climate change. It is time for concerned citizens around the globe to take back the planet.

Related Care2 Stories

Common Cause Obtains ALEC Agenda Materials, Files Requests for Investigations in 29 States

7 Major Corporations Dump Shady Sustainable Forestry

Scientists Warn Climate Change May Be Irreversible

Success! GM Stops Funding Climate Change Deniers

Finally! Supreme Court Will Reconsider Citizens United


Photo credit: Thinkstock


Edward Kerr
Edward Kerr5 years ago

For most people the implications of what we are talking about has yet to really SINK IN...we are ultimately talking about the EXTINCTION of the human race (and many others) if we let this situation get more out of control. The truly sad thing is that we have the ability to avert this disaster if we can summon the courage to take back OUR GOVERNMENT (in case you haven't been paying attention it has been stolen from us) and get together with the rest of the world and address this problem in earnest. What is being done now is good, but too little. If we fail this test we will get what we deserve.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Thank you.

Abbe A.
Azaima A5 years ago

profits first

Barbara DeFratis
Barbara DeFratis5 years ago

"Should corporations be held accountable for their environmental impacts?"

YES!! After all, that is the one way to keep businesses from 'raping' & 'pillaging' and 'blundering' our planet.

Valerie Hammett
Valerie Hammett5 years ago

they want your money..they are sharks of opportunity and are riding the climate change bandwagon to dig their greedy stubby fingers into our pockets. Wake up for the love of god. we cant be so gullible.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

We might get something done if we can convince property and casualty insurers who know they have a lot to lose from global warming that it would be worth some risk to sponsor a student at an engineering school in the same league as MIT to test Global Thermostat to find out how much CO2 it captures in a year at what cost. With that information, the insurers could figure out how much it would cost to do enough capture and store of CO2 to keep up with current CO2 emissions (36 billion metric tons world wide in 2011). They could than compare that with how much it is worth to make weather-related disasters remain an insurable risk. They might be willing to put up a little at risk money as Loss Prevention and Engineering for weather-related disaster insurance and also invest much of their reserves in green bonds if the federal government would issue green bonds dedicated to first mitigating global warming and then adapting to what can't be mitigated.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for posting!

Valentina R.
Valentina R5 years ago


Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.