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Climate Criminals


Climate Criminals

The Dirtiest Fossil Fuel Lobbyists behind the doors of #COP21

The world is calling for a commitment to a 100% clean future at the climate summit in Paris. But a group of climate criminals is trying to stop that deal. Their tactics are different, but their end game is the same: shift the focus away from emissions targets and keep fossil fuels at the centre of human development. Some even argue that more money should be spent on coal - the worst carbon-polluting fuel. Most get paid by fossil fuel companies like Exxon to speak against climate action. Some of them have launched extreme public attacks against scientists and others.

That is why Avaaz is exposing the seven biggest climate criminals attending the COP21 Paris climate summit. We are publishing their photo and their biographies and insider dossiers on their activities to shine a spotlight on their dirty backroom dealings and stop them from destroying our future.

Benjamin Sporton
Coal lobbyist-in-chief
World Coal Association

Sporton is the newly-appointed chief executive of the World Coal Association (WCA), the body that represents the interests of the coal industry. With coal companies reeling from a plummeting coal price and the prospect of a global climate agreement spelling tough times ahead, the WCA's job is to somehow convince the world that it makes sense to keep on burning coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Or as Sporton puts it: "We need to see more investment in ensuring that people can access new coal technology."

The WCA is now arguing that coal is the only realistic way to provide energy to much of the world's poor - a message which may sound selfless, but is motivated by self-interest and conveniently ignores the huge impact that climate change will have on the world's poorest people.

Tell ministers in Paris to steer clear of Benjamin Sporton:

Myron Ebell
Lobbyist and Climate Denier
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Vanity Fair describes Myron Ebell as a "policy analyst, soundbite artist, and oil-industry mouthpiece." He is director of the Center of Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) which opposes a global climate deal on principle.

He also chairs the Cooler Heads Coalition, a group of over two dozen non-profit organisations formed in 1997 that claims to, "question global warming alarmism and oppose energy rationing policies."

CEI is a central component of a network of US think tanks that have thrived on money from the fossil fuel industry, and the tobacco industry before it. Between 1998 and 2005, CEI received just over $2 million from ExxonMobil, taking $405,000 dollars in 2002 and $270,000 in 2005.

Tell Ministers in Paris to steer clear of Myron Ebell:

Marc Morano
Blogger, PR Man, and Climate Denier
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

Marc Morano has made a career out of spreading climate misinformation through the Climate Depot website, and has said that climate scientists, 'deserve to be publicly flogged.' His signature trick is to publish the email addresses of climate scientists, a move the Guardian suggests leads to Climate Depot readers cyber-bullying scientists.

Morano is the PR man of the climate denial industry. This year, when Pope Francis visited the US, he orchestrated a report accusing the Pope of creating an 'unholy alliance' with climate activists. Climate Depot is run by conservative think-tank CFACT, which has received funding from ExxonMobil and Chevron.

Tell Ministers in Paris to steer clear of Marc Morano:

Chris Horner
Lawyer, Coal Industry Lobbyist and Climate Denier
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Chris Horner is a 'go-to guy' for coal companies, whose specialty is hounding climate scientists to get access to their email, behaviour that the Washington Post described as 'harassment.' He is funded by the coal industry - earlier this year, bankruptcy documents from US coal company Alpha Natural Resources revealed that he received nearly $18,600 from the company in 2015.

Horner has authored four books, the titles of which help explain his views: "Power grab: How Obama's green policies will steal your freedom and bankrupt America" (2010); "Red hot lies: How global warming alarmists use threats, fraud, and deception to keep you misinformed" (2008). He has accused NASA's chief scientist James Hansen of "doctoring" temperature data, and appeared on a range of right wing chat shows and speaking tours promoting climate denial.

Tell Ministers in Paris to steer clear of Chris Horner:

Bjorn Lomborg
Academic, Author, Filmmaker, and Self-PromoterCopenhagen Consensus Center

Danish author Bjorn Lomborg could be described as 'delayer in chief' when it comes to climate. Lomborg argues that instead of spending money to de-carbonize the economy, governments should abandon the 2 degree target.

Over the years, Lomborg has woven a narrative that he's a reasonable, middle-ground thinker who uses fact-based analysis to unravel consensus on global emissions targets by focusing on poverty alleviation and technology R&D -- a strategy aligned with those of conservative lawmakers and right-wing think tanks.

His Canadian book tour was sponsored by the Fraser Institute, a right wing think tank with funding links to ExxonMobil. Lomborg appears comfortable to ignore the catastrophic effects climate change would have on the planet if we follow his advice, impacts that will fall disproportionately on the poor.

Tell Ministers in Paris to steer clear of Bjorn Lomborg:

Fiona Wild
PR Manager for the World's Most Valuable Mining Company
BHP Billiton

Fiona Wild is the Environmental Affairs Manager at BHP Billiton, the world's top mining company based on 2015 market value. She leads the implementation of BHP Billiton's climate change strategy.

Ahead of Paris, "Wild reasserted coal's place - and that of fossil fuels more broadly - in BHP's portfolio", which may be unsurprising given that BHP is invested in some of the biggest coal mines in the world and is sitting on coal stockpiles that if burned would produce billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. By supporting Tony Abbott's bid to ditch Australia's carbon tax, BHP helped cement Australia's role as one of the leading greenhouse gas emitters in the world.

Tell Ministers in Paris to steer clear of Fiona Wild:

James Taylor
Lobbyist and Climate Denier
Heartland Institute

James Taylor is a Senior Fellow with the Heartland Institute, a climate denial lobby group based in Chicago, USA. He argues that climate change has stopped, claiming "absolutely no warming during the past 10 years," and has said the world should abandon efforts to fight what he calls a "mythical global warming crisis".

In a fundraising email ahead of the Paris climate talks, Taylor appealed to potential donors to help raise $60,000USD for a Heartland trip to Paris, to hold a "counter-conference" that will "expose the agendas and true costs of the agreement being negotiated".

Heartland stunts include travelling to the Vatican to "inform Pope Francis of the truth about climate science," and a billboard associating belief in climate change with the US 'Unabomber' terrorist and serial murderer Ted Kaczynski, which badly backfired when prominent supporters of the organisation withdrew their funding.

Tell Ministers in Paris to steer clear of James Taylor:

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