Google makes “substantial” donations to climate-denying Washington think tanks, according to a new report from the Guardian on Friday. The revelation comes only a few weeks after Google announced its support political action to fix the climate crisis.
Google contributes to conservative political organizations and lobbies in support regulatory efforts that benefit the company. Defending the donations to organizations like the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) that were cited in the report, Google said that it might not endorse every policy position of an organization when it makes a contribution.
“We’re hardly alone among companies that contribute to organisations while strongly disagreeing with them on climate policy,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge.
According to people at Google The Guardian said that people at the company said that it makes these donations in hopes of influencing conservative lawmakers and pushing forward a deregulatory agenda, something that has become ever more important in recent months as Congress works to craft data privacy legislation.
In the past, CEI has taken tough stances in opposition to tech regulation and antitrust enforcement. Over the past year, Republican lawmakers have taken to criticizing tech platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google for being rigged in favor of Democrats, a position CEI has supported before as well.
In September, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company would make the “biggest corporate purchase” of renewable energy in history. The decision came only a day before Google employees were staged to walk out of work with other students and tech employees to draw corporate attention to the climate crisis. In a blog post, the strikers listed out their demands of the company, which included a call for it to cease from funding climate-denying lobbyists and politicians. Google touts its stance in favor of climate action on its own website as well.
“We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity,” Google’s SVP of technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle says on the site. “And we have a responsibility to do so — to our users and the environment.”
Source: The Verge