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Revealed: world's biggest conservation group given grants from fossil fuel funder

This news post is about 1 year old

Despite campaigning for fossil fuel divestment, the charity has taken millions of carbon companies' cash

WWF is one of a number of climate groups that are being financed by a billionaires’ hedge fund, a new report has revealed.

Quadrature Climate Foundation has stakes worth more than £135m in fossil fuel companies.

However its climate foundation gave grants to 45 green groups worth about £175m in 2021 and 2022 including more than £3m to WWF, according to a report in The Guardian.

It also gave £4m to the European Climate Foundation, which promotes net zero policies in Europe and £2.7m to the Carbon Tracker Initiative.

Quadrature’s investments include a $24m stake in ConocoPhillips, the multinational oil and gas company named as one of the world’s most polluting companies. The fund had also invested more than $26m in liquified gas company Cheniere Energy, as well as $20m in Cenovus Energy, which leaked 1,000 litres of diesel into a fishing lake in Alberta.

WWF is the world's largest conservation organisation, with over five million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries and supporting around 3,000 conservation and environmental projects.

It has invested over $1 billion in more than 12,000 conservation initiatives since 1995.

A spokesperson for WWF told The Guardian: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will be looking into this with the Quadrature Climate Foundation.”

A spokesperson for Quadrature said: “Climate change is already pushing many parts of the world beyond critical temperature tipping points, with uncertain and potentially severe consequences particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

“Since 2019, Quadrature Climate Foundation has deployed over £200m to almost 150 climate organisations. The foundation expects to increase funding substantially over the coming years, focused on unlocking the most urgent climate solutions that can help society address the new climate reality.”

Its most recent accounts reveal the fund made £560m in pre-tax profits for the year ending 31 January 2022. It paid nearly £357m in salaries to its 98 staff – an average pay of £3.6m a person.