‘Green’ donors named in anti-climate change think tank leak

Global businesses including Microsoft, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and General Motors appear to have been named as supporters of an influential think tank which refutes scientific climate change evidence - sparking a #deniergate twitter storm.

A leaked document from the Heartland Institute, which campaigns against climate change and green polices, has revealed that many of the think tanks’ financial backers are in fact companies which sell themselves on having green credentials.

As a result of the release, the topic has been circulating on the social media site under the hashtag ‘deniergate’ and follows the publication of the documents on the DeSmogBlog website, which examines how industry attempts to discredit climate change science. The leaked documents also contain details of the Institute’s budget, fundraising plan, Climate Strategy for 2012 and outlines a goal of raising more than $7.8m in funds in 2012.

Meanwhile, the Institute’s largest donor, who was unnamed, was revealed to have donated a $1.25m in total since 2005.

Referencing donors, the report states: “We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.”

The document also shows that the Institute plans to support the controversial drilling for shale gas process fracking, as well as outlining plans to spend $100,000 on an alternative school curriculum that raises doubts on global warming.

Carys Matthews

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