A Buzzfeed News report reveals that the Mercer family - secretive, ultra wealthy conservative donors - funded numerous anti-climate change groups in 2016.
The Mercer Family Foundation, funded by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and directed by his daughter Rebekah, gave $150,000 to CO2 Coalition in 2016, making the foundation the top donor of this small, Virginia-based nonprofit that promotes the benefits of climate pollution.
The Mercers also gave $125,000 to the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a group that questions the link between rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and global warming.
Though the Mercers have funded groups with ties to such ideology before, the two groups mentioned above deal solely in spreading untruths about climate change, including the notion that fossil fuels do not affect global warming or that climate change will have disastrous consequences.
These donations, which have not been previously reported, were on top of about $4 million that the Mercer family donated to groups that, although not solely focused on climate, do deny man-made climate change or oppose government action on curbing carbon emissions, including: the Media Research Center ($2 million), the Heartland Institute ($800,000), the Heritage Foundation ($500,000), the Cato Institute ($300,000), the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research ($200,000), and the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine ($200,000).
Buzzfeed estimates that about 23 percent of $19 million the Mercers donated to nonprofits in 2016 went to organizations having at least something to do with climate change denial.