Google has made “substantial” donations to some of the most powerful and influential groups linked to climate change denial, according to online documents revealed by The Guardian.
A Google transparency document shows that the multi-billion dollar tech giant has given "substantial contributions" to dozens of organizations, lobbying groups, and think tanks that promote climate change denial or have campaigned against legislation to stop climate change. They declined to tell The Guardian how much money it had donated to these groups.
One of the groups that received contributions from Google is the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a libertarian think tank that claims to “question global warming alarmism.” The CEI is behind numerous campaigns that have sought to sow doubt into the scientific consensus of global warming and downplay the effects of climate change. They have even been widely credited with playing an instrumental role in convincing Donald Trump to abandon the Paris climate change agreement.
Google has also made “contributions” to the Cato Institute, a Koch-affiliated think tank that disputes the science behind global warming, and the American Conservative Union, a traditional conservative think tank whose board has included prominent climate change deniers.
On the other hand, Google promotes the public image of being an eco-friendly company that takes the threat of climate change seriously. Indeed, the company has been carbon-neutral since 2007 and continues to be a vocal champion of climate change initiatives. For example, just last month, Google made a step in “the biggest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in history."
They have even signed a pledge of support for the Paris Agreement and joined a coalition of organizations that agreed to stick to the climate pact’s goals, regardless of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the agreement.
In defense of the accusations, a Google spokesperson told The Guardian: “We're hardly alone among companies that contribute to organizations while strongly disagreeing with them on climate policy. Google also states on in small print on its online policy on transparency that “sponsorship or collaboration with a third party organization doesn’t mean that we endorse the organisations’ entire agenda, its events or advocacy positions nor the views of its leaders or members.”
If you want to learn more about the billions of dollars that fund the climate change denial movement, you can find more information right here.