Six fossil fuel companies donated US$700m to universities

Six fossil fuel companies funnelled more than US$700 million in research funding to 27 universities in the United States from 2010 to 2020, according to a new study, writes Amy Westervelt for The Guardian.

Such funding at universities that conduct climate research can shift not just research agendas, but also policy in the direction of climate solutions the industry prefers, the report’s authors argue. Those solutions typically include biofuels, carbon capture and hydrogen, according to the research by the think-tank Data for Progress and the non-profit group Fossil Free Research. Oil majors also invest in public policy and economics research that favours deregulation. “US$700 million is probably an absolute bare minimum,” Grace Adcox, polling analyst for Data for Progress, said. “There’s so little transparency around these gifts.”

The top five schools on the list include some that champion their climate research, like the University of California at Berkeley (US$154 million), Stanford University (US$56.6 million) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US$40.5 million), as well as those with long-standing fossil fuel ties, like George Mason University (US$64 million), the largest recipient of funding from the Koch Foundation.
Full report on The Guardian site