Report detailing 'greenwashing' adverts on Google prompts Democratic lawmakers to put in writing search engine's CEO

A number of Home Democrats requested Google’s CEO on Friday for explanations about latest allegations that the search engine has profited from “greenwashing” adverts positioned by main oil firms.

A November report from The Middle for Countering Digital Hate accused Google of enabling oil firms’ greenwashing efforts — or their makes an attempt to look extra sustainable and environmentally pleasant than they really are.

A number of main oil firms — together with BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and Aramco — spent $23.7 million over the previous two years to put adverts on Google Search, of which $10.9 million went towards greenwashing adverts, the report discovered.

Google additionally accepted $421,000 from the Aggressive Enterprise Institute for adverts that promoted local weather denialism, in keeping with the report.

“We’re involved that these adverts mislead the general public concerning the environmental credentials of Large Oil firms, the extent to which they’re contributing to the local weather disaster and, in some instances, unfold outright local weather disinformation,” the group of Home Democrats stated in Friday’s letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Home Choose Committee on the Local weather Disaster, was joined on the letter by fellow Democratic Reps. Alan Lowenthal (Calif.), Katie Porter (Calif.), Jared Huffman (Calif.) and Adam Schiff (Calif.).

“This enterprise observe is extremely more likely to mislead the general public by representing Large Oil firms as inexperienced firms once they truly symbolize a major share of world carbon emissions,” the letter continued.

The group additionally famous that Google’s relationship with the oil firms contradicted its “insurance policies and representations to the general public as a inexperienced and sustainable firm.” 

In October 2021, Google up to date its advert coverage to ban “content material that contradicts well-established scientific consensus across the existence and causes of local weather change.”

“Many individuals world wide belief Google Search companies to supply them with correct and related data,” the lawmakers added within the letter. “This belief is undermined when Google’s companies are polluted by greenwashing adverts and local weather disinformation.”