fossil fuels at Princeton
Fossil fuel companies aren’t just in Princeton’s investment portfolio. They also play a substantial role in funding climate research on campus. Since 2000, ExxonMobil and BP together have given over $35 million to the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and the Climate Mitigation Initiative (CMI) at Princeton University. Over the last 5 years alone, the University has received $26.2 million in funding research from eleven oil and gas companies, with most of that coming from ExxonMobil and BP.
This funding calls into question the integrity of any research produced by these entities.
As Divest Princeton wrote in the Daily Princetonian, “Although Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative conducts real, insightful, and critical research, the fact that it is solely funded by BP raises suspicions when the Institute’s work allows the company to direct the climate conversation towards energy changes that benefit it. This is sponsorship bias, a well-documented phenomenon where industry funders influence research questions and the framing of issues to the general public. … CMI’s funding structure allows BP to set the agenda on climate research, directing dollars towards activities that help protect their business and away from research that doesn’t. Further, through CMI, BP leverages its relationship with Princeton to greenwash its image into that of a ‘climate leader,’ despite plans to continue fossil fuel extraction past critical tipping points.”