Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have been targeted by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) over their part in climate change. Specifically, the politicians want the tech giants to pledge support for science that pushes a narrative that climate change has negatively impacted the environment.
A letter from the lawmakers was released in the wake of a controversial finding last week. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft were found to be sponsors of a conference called LibertyCon, which promotes the denial of climate changes.
What's interesting about the discovery is that all the companies have created programs supposedly embracing environmentally friendly practices. At LibertyCon, one speaker from the CO2 Coalition claimed the impact of climate change has been exaggerated.
Whether Facebook, Google, and Microsoft agree is open to debate, but they are now associated with the opinion regardless. Ocasio-Cortez and Pingree offered some praise to the company's but slammed their sponsorship of the Libertarian conference.
“We are encouraged that each of you have pledged to reduce your carbon footprint and have committed other efforts like pursuing renewable energy,” the two lawmakers wrote. “Disappointingly, though, the example you have set promoting sustainability and evidenced-based science is compromised by your implicit support of the session organized at LibertyCon.”
It is worth noting the conference is not entirely about climate change and in fact only the single discussion denied its effects.
“Given the magnitude and urgency of the climate crisis that we are now facing, we find it imperative to ensure that the climate-related views espoused at LibertyCon do not reflect the values of your companies going forward,” the lawmakers wrote.
Microsoft responded to the letter, telling The Verge its role in LibertyCon was at a breakfast discussing rural broadband and privacy, not climate change.
“Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time, and our commitment to addressing it is unequivocal,” the spokesperson said. “For the past decade, we've reduced emissions, invested in renewable energy, supported policies to address climate change and enabled people around the globe to use technology to accelerate progress on this issue.”