Stand with Scientists: Tell the AGU to Drop Exxon Sponsorship

Dr. Margaret Leinen, President of the AGU, and the full AGU Board of Directors

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is the largest association of Earth scientists in the world, of which we are proud members. It is a well-respected institution that works to advance public understanding of science, and holds a strong position on the urgency of climate action. Yet, the AGU continues to accept funding from Exxon Mobil, one of the world's leading funders of climate change denial. This, despite the fact that the AGU's own policy expressly forbids accepting funding from any organization that spreads science misinformation. This policy was put in place for good reason, and the AGU must start abiding by it — starting with Exxon.

Exxon has been deceiving the public on the science of climate change for decades — deception that continues to this day. That's why we Earth scientists and 300 of our colleagues, including nearly 200 AGU members, have signed an open letter calling on the AGU to reject sponsorship from Exxon. Despite our pleas, the AGU Board decided at their last meeting to continue to accept money from Exxon.

In response, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Ted Lieu backed us up with a letter of their own, finally prompting the AGU Board to vow to once again "review and discuss the information." But nothing has changed yet. So, as we approach this September’s board meeting, we now need your support. Please sign our petition to tell the AGU to drop Exxon sponsorship.


Dr. Kerry A. Emanuel, Cecil & Ida Green Professor of Atmospheric Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Catherine Gautier, Professor Emerita, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Charles Greene, Professor of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences; and Director of Ocean Resources and Ecosystems Program, Cornell University

Dr. James Hansen, Director, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program in the Columbia Earth Institute; Adjunct Professor, Columbia University Earth Institute; and Former Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Dr. Elisabeth A. Holland, Director of Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development; and Professor of Climate Change, University of the South Pacific

Dr. Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science; and Director, Earth System Science Center, Penn State University

Dr. Nathan Phillips, Professor of Earth and Environment, Boston University

Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics; and Policy and Communications Director, Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy

Dr. George M. Woodwell, Founder and Director Emeritus, The Woods Hole Research Center

To: Dr. Margaret Leinen, President of the AGU, and the full AGU Board of Directors
From: Beka Economopoulos

I stand in solidarity with over 300 Earth scientists in urging the American Geophysical Union to stop accepting sponsorship from Exxon Mobil. Exxon has funded, promoted, and disseminated climate science disinformation for decades. AGU's own policy explicitly bars sponsorship from companies that disseminate science disinformation, and there is no reason that Exxon should be exempted from this policy.

The impacts of Exxon's deceptive tactics have been devastating. For decades the company has been pouring millions of dollars into sowing climate change denial, confusing the public, and putting us years behind in combating climate change. We call on you to protect the integrity of climate science by rejecting sponsorship, or any future funding, from Exxon.