A report, cited in msn news and The Guardian, states that most of the top oil companies are lobbying on social media advertisements proclaiming the virtues of fossil fuel production. The report was published by InfluenceMap.
The report’s author, Edward Collins, analysed corporate spending on lobbying, briefing and advertising, and assessed what proportion was dedicated to climate issues. He found that the largest five stock market listed oil and gas companies spend nearly $200m (£153m) a year lobbying to delay, control or block policies to tackle climate change. Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil were the main companies leading the field in direct lobbying to push against a climate policy to tackle global warming. Increasingly they are using social media to successfully push their agenda to weaken and oppose any meaningful legislation in the USA to tackle global warming. In the run-up to the US midterm elections last year $2m was spent on targeted Facebook and Instagram ads by global oil giants and their industry bodies, promoting the benefits of increased fossil fuel production.
But the report said these campaigns were misleading the public about the extent of the oil companies’ actions because, while publicly endorsing the need to act, they are massively increasing investment in a huge expansion of oil and gas extraction. In 2019 their spending will increase to $115bn, with just 3% of that directed at low carbon projects.
The Guardian article provides graphic data to support these statements.