A Greenpeace undercover investigation has exposed how fossil fuel companies can secretly pay academics at leading American universities to write research that sows doubt about climate science and promotes the companies’ commercial interests.
Posing as representatives of oil and coal companies, reporters from Greenpeace UK asked academics from Princeton and Penn State to write papers promoting the benefits of CO2 and the use of coal in developing countries.
The professors agreed to write the reports and said they did not need to disclose the source of the funding.
Citing industry-funded documents – including testimony to state hearings and newspaper articles – Professor Frank Clemente of Penn State said: “In none of these cases is the sponsor identified. All my work is published as an independent scholar.”
A eading climate-sceptic academic, agreed to write a report for a Middle Eastern oil company on the benefits of CO2 and to allow the firm to keep the source of the funding secret.
He later appeared as a star witness in Senate hearings called by Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz.