Google funds climate-change deniers – report

"When it comes to regulation of technology, Google has to find friends wherever they can and I think it is wise that the company does not apply litmus tests to who they support," a source said.

An iceberg floats near the Wahlenberg Glacier in Oscar II land at Spitsbergen in Svalbard, Norway, August 5, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY)
An iceberg floats near the Wahlenberg Glacier in Oscar II land at Spitsbergen in Svalbard, Norway, August 5, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY)
The internet giant Google has been financially supporting several organizations that aggressively deny the phenomenon of climate change, The Guardian reported on Friday.
Google portraits itself as a very environment-friendly enterprise.
"Since 2007, we have operated as a carbon-neutral company and for the second year in a row, we reached 100% renewable energy for our global operations," a spokesperson told the British newspaper.
The spokesperson added that they advocated for "strong action" against climate change and at the pivotal climate conference in Paris in 2015 and partially funded the Global Climate Action summit in San Francisco last year.
However, the list of groups supported by Google include entities that have been active against environmental regulations such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the American Conservative Union (ACU), the Mercatus Center and the Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute describes itself as "a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty." According to the report, the organization played an essential role in persuading the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris agreement, an international treaty adopted in 2015, which aimed to reduce the emission of gases that contribute to global warming signed by 197 countries.
CEI has also criticized the US government for not doing more. Its website carries in its footer a link to a blog denying climate change.
ACU states to be "the nation's oldest conservative grassroots organization and seeks to preserve and protect the values of life, liberty, and property for every American."
The Guardian noted that its chairman Matt Schlapp was instrumental in designing the radical anti-environmental policies of the Koch Industries owned by the renowned Koch brothers, for whom he worked for several years. The paper added that the Mercatus Center was a think tank also funded by the Koch family, while the Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action defined the Paris Agreement as a "destructive legacy" of former US President Barack Obama supported by "cosmopolitan elites."
"We've been extremely clear that Google's sponsorship doesn't mean that we endorse that organization's entire agenda – we may disagree strongly on some issues," the Google spokesperson responded.
According to unnamed sources quoted in the report, Google supports these anti-environment organizations in order to back their efforts to promote a deregulatory agenda and to influence conservative politicians.
"When it comes to regulation of technology, Google has to find friends wherever they can and I think it is wise that the company does not apply litmus tests to who they support," a source told The Guardian.