A report by the Center for Political Accountability, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that was founded to bring forth accountability and transparency to corporate political spending, has come out to show that some high-profile companies may be taking actions that could be seen as undermining their promises to fight climate change. The report examined notable companies, all of which have made varying pledges to reduce their negative impacts on the planet, including AT&T, Amazon, and Walmart.
The report shows a glaring pattern of top companies donating significant amounts of money to elect Republican candidates to attorney general positions, who have long been known to levy opposition at climate change regulations and policies.
A @CPAdisclosure report released today found 75 leading public companies undercut their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through their conflicted political spending: https://t.co/VD1XAMeOHm pic.twitter.com/sjbRXPRUYU
— Center for Political Accountability (@CPADisclosure) February 23, 2022
While Walmart has pledged to do its utmost in order to read a set goal of net-zero emissions across the whole of its global operations by 2040, as well as reducing their supply chain emissions by 1 billion metric tons by 2030, many believe the company’s political involvement does not align with their promises. During the 2016 election cycle, Walmart donated $180,325 to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA.) In the years that followed, Walmart would continue to offer significant sums to RAGA, $182,750 in 2018, as well as $270,100 in 2020. The report also shows that the retail company donated over $10,000 to the campaign of Sean Reyes in 2020, who joined a lawsuit to keep President Biden from repealing a necessary permit for the deeply controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.
In an email, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said: “Historically we’ve supported organizations of both parties like the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Democratic Attorneys Association. Our political contributions do not mean we support every view of an elected official.”
He continued on by pointing out that Walmart donated significant amounts to the Democratic Attorneys General Association in the election cycles for 2016 ($125,000,) 2018 ($125,000,) and 2020 ($240,000.)
The president and cofounder of the Center for Political Accountability, Bruce Freed, commented that the report is an example of business risks for companies that have yet to align their political donations to their climate change pledges.
Amazon, a company that has also pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its business by 2040, is shown in the report to have donated to both RAGA and Reyes as well, with a sum of $150,000 to RAGA and $10,000 to Reyes during the 2020 election cycle. Furthermore, Amazon donated $5,000 to the campaign of Jeff Landry, Louisiana Attorney General who headed a recent lawsuit to stop the Biden administration from using the social cost of carbon.
Carlos Holguin, research director at the Center for Political Accountability, said: “These corporations are really undercutting the emissions goals, pledges, and policies that they’ve put in place.”