By Ian Wilhelm
The Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank, is questioning the motives behind former Vice President Al Gore’s advocacy campaign to garner public support to stop climate change.
The three-year, $300-million campaign, which started this week, will be run by the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit organization in Menlo Park, Calif. Mr. Gore is estimated to have contributed $2.7-million to the effort.
But the center, in Washington, suggests that the former vice president could benefit financially from the campaign as chairman of Generation Investment Management, a private company in London that invests in environmentally friendly businesses.
On the center’s blog, Matthew Vadum, editor of the think tank’s publications, writes that the investment company has “considerable influence” over carbon-credit trading groups and that if the new advocacy campaign succeeds in convincing Americans to support carbon-emissions trading, “Al Gore will be uniquely positioned to cash in.”
However, Richard Campbell, a spokesman for Generation Investment Management, called the suggestions a “nonsense story.”
In an e-mail message to The Chronicle, he writes that neither Mr. Gore nor any other members of the investment company’s board will make money from the expansion of carbon trading.
“To suggest then that they are somehow benefiting from the growth of this industry betrays a complete lack of knowledge of the carbon offset industry,” he writes.
What do you think?