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British Scientists Tell Exxon To Stop Anti-Climate Change Campaign

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Sep 20, 2006
The Royal Society, Britain's premier group of scientists, has written to the British arm of energy giant ExxonMobil, demanding the company withdraw support for groups that attempt to undermine the consensus relating to climate change, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

It is the first time the society has written to a company questioning its activities, which the Royal Society said supported groups that "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence."

According to the newspaper, which obtained a copy of the letter sent to Esso, Exxon's British arm, last month, the Royal Society cites its own surveys which assert that the energy company distributed 2.9 million dollars (2.3 million euros) to 39 groups that, the society alleges, misrepresent the facts of climate change.

"There is not a robust scientific basis for drawing definitive and objective conclusions about the effect of human influence on future climate," the letter, written by Bob Ward of the Royal Society, read.

Ward continued: "At our meeting in July ... you indicated that ExxonMobil would not be providing any further funding to these organisations. I would be grateful if you could let me know when ExxonMobil plans to carry out this pledge."

The society also criticised Exxon's own stance on climate change, which asserts that "gaps in the scientific basis" make it difficult to blame climate change on human activity.

In response to this, the society wrote: "These statements are not consistent with the scientific literature. It is very difficult to reconcile the misrepresentations of climate change science in these documents with ExxonMobil's claim to be an industry leader."

The oil giant, The Guardian reported, confirmed receipt of the letter and refuted "any suggestion that our reports are inaccurate or misleading."

Source: Agence France-Presse

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