Donors Trust: Laundering Climate Denial Funding

The shadow operation that has laundered $146 million in climate-denial funding

Publication - February 15, 2013
Over the past year, Greenpeace and other researchers have discovered that Donors Trust, a shadowy funding operation for anti-government extremists, is laundering millions of dollars in climate denial funding for donors who do not want to be associated with their pet causes. Since the late 1990s, Greenpeace has tracked and exposed the funding to climate denial front groups from Big Oil donors, including ExxonMobil and the Koch Brothers foundations. As these funding connections have been revealed, the publicly traceable funding to these groups has slowly declined, while the overall revenue and budgets of these groups has increased in many cases. This has coincided with a sharp increase in anonymous and untraceable funding for denial groups through Donors Trust.

Findings:

  • Donors Trust and its associated organization, Donors Capital Fund, have funded 102 climate-denial organizations since 2002.
  • From 2002 to 2011, Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund have provided $146 million to climate denial groups.
  • In 2010, a dozen climate denial groups received between 30% to 70% of their funding from Donors Trust, including the Koch-founded Americans for Prosperity, as well as Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)
  • Additional climate denial organizations that have received major funding in recent years by Donors Trust include the Heartland Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute and the James Partnership (Cornwall Alliance).

DonorsTrust