Many corporations publically supporting climate science are actively working against regulations and laws addressing global warming, finds a Union of Concerned Scientists report “A Climate of Corporate Control,” released yesterday. The report examines the public relations, political involvement, and corporate donations of 28 S&P 500 companies that attempted to influence climate policy in 2009 and 2010, with information on House and Senate climate votes contributed by the League of Conservation Voters.
While giving lip service to climate change as a pillar of its corporate policy of its website, General Electric Company supports numerous trade groups and thinktanks that misrepresent science, and has previously donated to the recently defunded Heartland Institute, a thinktank that actively worked to undermine climate science and global warming policy.
In a stunning display of greenwashing, all 28 corporations surveyed publically expressed concern about climate change and reducing carbon pollution, but half misrepresented climate science in their public communications. All but three also contributed to organizations opposing climate science or science-based policy.
“Corporations’ increased ability to influence policy should come with an increased responsibility to let the public know how they are doing so,” said Francesca Grifo, director of UCS’s Scientific Integrity Program and a contributor to the report. “Companies may play a role in policy discussions, but right now, it’s simply far too easy for them to get away with misrepresenting science to achieve their goals.”