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Obstructing action: foundation funding and US climate change counter-movement organizations

May 17, 2021

A new peer-reviewed study by CSSN Director of Research Robert J. Brulle, CSSN Scholar Loredana Loy, et al. finds that the vast majority of climate change obstruction activities in the United States are funded through millions of dollars of annual anonymous donations.

Analyzing data from 2003 to 2018, the study published in Climatic Change finds that 74 percent of all contributions to organizations that obstruct climate action over the sample period come from completely unidentified sources. Funding for the complex network of organizations that obstruct climate action, coined the “climate change counter-movement,” has continually increased at a rate of 3.4% throughout the time period from $357 million in 2003 to $808 million in 2018, with an annual average of $616 million.