Despite the company often publicly calling for action on climate change, Google has been caught actively funding organizations that deny climate change and lobby against action to prevent and reverse it, the Guardian reports. The publication says Google has made “substantial” contributions to more than a dozen organizations that lobby against climate change action.
One such organization Google has donated to is the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative policy group that the Guardian says “was instrumental in convincing the Trump administration to abandon” the historic Paris Agreement.
Google is also a sponsor of the upcoming State Policy Network (SPN) annual meeting. The SPN is an umbrella organization that supports conservative groups including the Heartland Institute. The Heartland Institute is an anti-science group, according to the Guardian, that has accused the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist Greta Thunberg of “climate delusion hysterics.” The SPN also created a climate pledge website that states “our natural environment is getting better” and “there is no climate crisis” as well as stating that “polar bears are doing very well,” which isn’t the case according to the World Wildlife Fund.
In response to the Guardian’s reports, a Google spokesperson told the publication that the company’s donations to climate-change-denying groups “does not mean we endorse the organizations’ entire agenda.” The spokesperson went on to say, “We’re hardly alone among companies that contribute to organizations while strongly disagreeing with them on climate policy.”
Google would not reveal the total amount it had donated to climate-change-denying groups. However, the company maintains a U.S. Public Policy transparency page which contains a running list (PDF) of third-party, politically-affiliated groups that receives the “most substantial contributions” from the company. A quick run-through of the list shows the company contributes what it calls “substantial” sums to groups on both sides of the political spectrum.