An overwhelming scientific consensus supports the reality of human-induced global warming and the importance of prompt action to limit its impact. Constructive, science-based public discussion of climate change impacts and policy solutions is urgently needed.
Unfortunately, many U.S. companies are using their influence to muddy the waters—casting unwarranted doubt on the science, adding confusion to the policy discussion, and holding back or slowing down action on solutions.
The 2012 UCS report, A Climate of Corporate Control, looks at statements and actions on climate science and policy by 28 U.S. companies, shows how these contributions can be problematic, and suggests steps that Congress, the public, the media, and companies themselves can take to address the problem.
Corporations have the right, of course, to weigh in on public policy issues that affect their interests. But too often they do so irresponsibly, misrepresenting and misusing science at the public's expense, and in recent years their influence has grown.
Corporations skew the national dialogue on climate policy in a variety of ways—making inconsistent statements across different venues, attacking science through industry-supported organizations, and taking advantage of the secrecy allowed them by current legal and regulatory structures.