Top Firms: We Won't Work With Climate Deniers

PR companies take 1st public stand on the issue

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 4, 2014 3:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – A few of the world's most powerful public-relations companies say they won't launch campaigns that deny climate change—and most of those won't work with climate-change deniers at all, the Guardian reports. A survey conducted by the Guardian and the Climate Investigations Centre got responses from 10 of the world's top 25 firms, several of whom made the stand, including WPP, Waggener Edstrom (WE) WorldWide, and Weber Shandwick. "We would not knowingly partner with a client who denies the existence of climate change," said a WE spokesman.

It's the first such stand by companies in a field that has widely influenced the climate debate, either by adopting environmental causes or working with government and traditional-energy companies. "The PR industry is a major component of the influence peddling industry ... and they are making large sums of money from energy companies and other important players," says Climate Investigations' founder. The US firm Edelman, however, refused to rule out working with climate deniers and said it would progress on a client-by-client basis (in fact, an early response from Edelman mistakenly included an internal email saying, "There are only wrong answers for this guy.") Meanwhile, President Obama has released a new report on the apparent costs of putting off climate-change action—a step in his administration's plan to set carbon limits for US power plants, the Hill reports.

In this July 1972 photo provided by the US National Archives entitled Burning Discarded Automobile Batteries, black clouds billow from smokestacks in Houston, Texas.
In this July 1972 photo provided by the US National Archives entitled "Burning Discarded Automobile Batteries," black clouds billow from smokestacks in Houston, Texas.   (AP Photo/U.S. National Archives, Marc St. Gil)
This Jan. 10, 2009 file photo shows a flock of geese flying past a smokestack at the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant near Emmitt, Kan.
This Jan. 10, 2009 file photo shows a flock of geese flying past a smokestack at the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant near Emmitt, Kan.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
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