Amazon is funding premier climate denial “think tank”

The New York Times reported last week that Amazon is funding the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a “think tank” with a long history as a key leader in the climate denial political movement. This is in addition to the 68 members of Congress we donated to in 2018 who voted against climate legislation 100% of the time, which we called out in our open letter. We are heartbroken and angry: this is clear evidence that our leadership still doesn’t understand the severity of the climate crisis or the necessary steps that our company needs to take.

CEI’s long, politically powerful history in climate denial:

  1. In the late 90s and early 2000s, CEI was active in opposing the Kyoto Protocol.
  2. To influence public opinion, CEI cast doubt on climate science and argued that carbon emissions were beneficial; including running TV ads stating “CO2: they call it pollution; we call it life.”
  3. During the Obama Administration, CEI fought against efforts to reduce carbon pollution, including the Clean Power Plan (CPP). CEI filed suit against CPP and is working closely with the EPA under Trump to attack the CPP.
  4. Electing Trump greatly expanded CEI’s influence. Trump selected Myron Ebell, known climate denialist and a Director at CEI, to lead the transition team at EPA, setting the stage for numerous proposals rolling back Obama administration rules limiting carbon pollution.
  5. The relationship between CEI and EPA has grown so close under Trump that EPA reached out to climate denialist Ebell for help in justifying its leadership’s scientifically erroneous claims about climate change.
  6. CEI was a crucial advocate urging Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, including by running TV ads asking him to do so.
  7. CEI was a key player convincing the House of Reps to vote in favor of an anti-carbon pricing resolution.

CEI is funded by multiple Koch brothers-affiliated groups (Charles Koch Institute, Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Donors Trust, etc), fossil fuel companies, and also Amazon, our own employer.

Our letter asks that our company uses its political efforts to advocate for good climate policies. Funding CEI is fundamentally opposed with Jeff’s view that “It’s hard to find an issue that is more important than climate change.” (Video, starting at 0:42).

It is critical that Amazon leadership hear our call to end Amazon’s relationships with climate-denying entities.

If you work at Amazon and want more action from our leadership to address our climate impact, please sign our open letter to Jeff Bezos by doing the following:

  1. Email amazonemployeesclimatejustice@gmail.com from your Amazon work email with the subject line “signature”
  2. In the body of the email, include your name and job title as you’d like it to appear on the list of signatories

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