Today we’re getting serious. Over the past few weeks, the world has come to a halt, our healthcare systems have been overwhelmed, and countless people are experiencing food and housing insecurity. This crisis has caused Google to reflect on how critical it is to respond to another global emergency: climate change. Today, we would like to announce a small step in that direction: we will stop our funding of organizations that deny or work to block action on climate change, effective immediately.
For 21 years, Google’s mission has been to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. However, since 2013, we have funded think tanks, policy-makers, and lobbyists that supported strong technology policies, but also spread misinformation about climate change. Many of these organizations have actively worked to derail environmental protections, often successfully. Today, Google is ready to say that this is completely unacceptable, and we are declaring a zero tolerance policy for funding any entities that oppose aggressive actions to halt climate change.
We started out by parting ways with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2014. After a hiatus, we now resume this journey by immediately ending our relationships with all climate change-denying groups, including:
- The Competitive Enterprise Institute, which urged the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris Accords,
- The American Enterprise Institute, which has called the climate crisis an “antihuman worldview,”
- Americans for Tax Reform, which has promoted the claim that the science behind climate change is manipulated by the agenda of liberal scientists,
- The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action, which has called carbon dioxide something “insidious and ridiculous to regulate,” and was also a main driver behind the withdrawal from the Paris Accords,
- The American Conservative Union, whose chairman, Matt Schlapp, has vocally opposed climate measures like the EPA’s Clean Power Plan,
- The Cato Institute, which has opposed climate legislation, claiming that there is “ample time” to address the climate crisis,
- The Mercatus Center, which frequently opposes environmental regulations, in one instance arguing that smog-free skies would result in more cases of skin cancer,
- The State Policy Network, launched by ALEC and the Heartland Institute, the latter an extremist organization that claims “the global warming crisis is over”, and that “there is no need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and no point in attempting to do so”. They have also called for removing the Environmental Protection Agency, rolling back all environmental regulations and stopping the funding of the renewable energy sector.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reverberated deeply at Google. It has forced us to recognize how, similar to climate change, ignoring the science about an emerging crisis can result in suffering on a global scale, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable.
Therefore, Google would like to issue the following apologies, to our employees, our shareholders, our customers, and our users:
- We apologize for putting profit over the planet by funding climate change deniers.
- We apologize for stalling to take actions, even after our funding was brought to light.
- We apologize for taking no responsibility over our sponsored parties’ agenda. As our ex-chairman put it:
Today, April 1st 2020, is a turning point in our commitment to the planet. Along with a zero tolerance policy for climate change denial among our partners, we are listening to the demands of our employees and committing to the following goals immediately:
- Zero emissions by 2025.
- Zero contracts with organizations that enable or accelerate the extraction of fossil fuels.
- Zero funding for think tanks, lobbyists, and politicians that deny the urgency of the climate crisis or seek to block action to halt it.
- Zero collaboration with entities enabling the incarceration, surveillance, displacement, or oppression of refugees or frontline communities, many of whose lives have already been destroyed by climate change-related conflict or drought.
In this unprecedented moment, Google feels a great responsibility to make a difference in the world on many fronts. We’re going to start doing everything we can to help people take care of our planet, our global community, and our children’s future. If you also want to be part of the solution, we recommend that you join Extinction Rebellion. There is much work to be done.
 “Mr. President: Stop the Paris Climate Treaty | Competitive Enterprise Institute” https://cei.org/stopparisclimatetreaty.
 “Once the GOP rolls out climate policies, it endorses all the assumptions of the left” 6 May. 2019, https://www.aei.org/articles/once-the-gop-rolls-out-climate-policies-it-endorses-all-the-assumptions-of-the-left/.
 “The Grover Norquist Show: The Real Science and Politics Behind Global Warming” https://www.atr.org/grover-norquist-show-real-science-and-politics-behind-global-warming.
 “Keystone Haters Kill Jobs | Heritage Action For America.” https://heritageaction.com/blog/keystone-haters-kill-jobs.
 “ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp’s Testimony about the Clean Power Plan – ACU.” https://conservative.org/article/acu-chairman-matt-schlapps-epa-testimony.
 “Global Warming | Cato Institute.” https://www.cato.org/research/global-warming.
 “Covert Operations – The New Yorker.” 30 Aug. 2010, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/08/30/covert-operations.
 “National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone – Mercatus Center” 12 Mar. 1997, https://mercatus.org/uploadedFiles/Mercatus/Publications/20060830_MR_RSP_PIC_EPA_NAAQS_Dudley_March_12_1997.pdf.
 “Special Report: Burgeoning Conservative Think Tanks” 12 Jul. 1991, https://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Special%20Report%20-%20Burgeoning%20Conservative%20Think%20Tanks.pdf.
 “Publications – The Global Warming Crisis Is Over | Heartland Institute” 19 May. 2015, https://www.heartland.org/publications-resources/publications/the-global-warming-crisis-is-over.
 “Action Plan for President Trump | Heartland Institute.” https://www.heartland.org/topics/government-politics/trump-action-plan/index.html.
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