A decision by search giant to sever link with American Legislative Exchange Council will boost UN climate campaign
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said: ‘We should not be aligned with such people — they’re literally lying.’
The internet giant Google has announced it is to sever its ties with an influential rightwing lobbying network, the American Legislative Exchange Council, accusing it of “lying” about climate change.
The move, ahead of a United Nations summit on climate change, delivered a victory to campaigners and the UN’s newly minted initiative to persuade companies to shun climate-denying business lobbies.
Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, told National Public Radio that the company had joined Alec, a lobby group that shares model legislation, for a campaign on an unrelated issue. But he said: “I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake, and so we’re trying to not do that in the future.”
Alec’s views on climate change were not in line with Google’s, he said.
“The facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring, and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”
A UN briefing document, entitled “Are you engaging responsibly in climate policy”, is due to be unveiled formally at the climate summit. It calls on business leaders to take a close look at the climate policy of trade associations – and quit those groups if they try to block climate policies.
“Are your lobbyists – and your trade group’s lobbyists – advocating for policies that advance your company’s public climate policy goals,” the briefing document asks. “Are any individuals or groups (inside or outside the company) misrepresenting the company’s policy positions?”
The UN found 45 corporations belonged to lobby groups which took anti-climate positions.
In Google’s case, the tech company said it was a mistake to join Alec and would not renew its membership at the end of the year.
The lobby group was behind the successful campaign to ban planning for sea level rise in North Carolina, and campaigns in several states to roll back regulations promoting wind and solar power.