Despite an increase in the number of companies that are adopting sustainable practices, major multinationals like ExxonMobil and Koch Industries are waging war on the environment. These two companies are aggresively resisting the trend towards a low carbon economy. In addition to being major producers of greenhouse gasses, ExxonMobil and Koch use their influence to lobby governments and create resistance to global-warming-related regulation, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the UN sponsored Conference of the Parties (COP). Some of their most destructive actions pertain to their funding of misinformation campaigns that fuel climate change denial.
According to a 2004 study commissioned by Friends of the Earth, ExxonMobil and its predecessors caused 4.7 to 5.3 percent of the world’s man-made carbon dioxide emissions between 1882 and 2002. The group suggested that such studies could form the basis for eventual legal action.
ExxonMobil has been a leading figure in the business world’s position on climate change, providing substantial funding to a range of climate change denial groups. According to Mother Jones ExxonMobil-funded a total of 40 organizations that “either have sought to undermine mainstream scientific findings on global climate change or have maintained affiliations with a small group of “skeptic” scientists who continue to do so.”Between 2000 and 2003 these organizations received more than $8m in funding.
Koch Industries is the major source of funding for climate denial. From 2005 to 2008, Koch donated $5.7 million on political campaigns and $37 million on direct lobbying to support fossil fuel industries. According to the non-partisan research group the Center for Responsive Politics, between 1997 and 2008, Koch Industries donated a total of nearly $48 million to climate opposition groups. Koch Industries and its subsidiaries spent more than $20 million on lobbying in 2008 and $12.3 million in 2009.
For ExxonMobil and Koch it may be too late, however, for all but the most egregious, there is hope for redemption. The Survey of America’s Greenest Brands show that even companies with very poor environmental reputations can redeem themselves and go from environmental pariah to eco-superstar by incorporating sustainable practices.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
Reigning in Irresponsible Oil Giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil
The Kochs’ Tea Party Republicans
The Kochs’ Cato Institute’s Climate Denial
Koch Industries War with the EPA
Supreme Court and the Koch Brothers Clandestine War
Video Linking the Kochs’ and the Tea Party
The Koch Brothers’ No Climate Tax Pledge
The Kochs’ Spending on Political Influence
Koch Industries and the Tea Party’s Corporate “Grassroots”
Koch Industries’ Environmental Crimes
The Kochs’ Mercatus Center
Koch Industries Financing Climate Denial
The Kochs’ War Against Obama and the Democrats
The Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity Undermines Cap-and-Trade
The Kochs’ Citizens for a Sound Economy Feigned Grassroots
The Kochs’ Climate Science Denial
Koch Industries War on Industry Oversight and Environmental Regulation
Koch Industries Destroys the Environment and Funds