03 Nov 2020, 13:49
Edgar Meza

German chemicals producer Bayer backs climate change denying US Republicans - report

Tageszeitung (taz)

As US voters go to the polls on Tuesday, leading German chemicals producer Bayer will be mainly sponsoring candidates from US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party, including deniers of human-induced climate change, Jost Maurin writes in German newspaper taz. The company’s Bayer U.S. LLC Political Action Committee (Bayerpac) has contributed a total of $318,000 to US politicians since the beginning of 2019, 58 percent of which went to Republican candidates, Maurin reports, citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics research group. In contrast, the political campaign contribution committees of other German companies, such as T-Mobile, Fresenius and BASF, invested less than half of their federal election donations to Republican candidates. Since taking over US rival Monsanto in 2018, Bayer has become the world's largest producer of seeds and pesticides.

According to the US Federal Election Commission, Republican Senator Joni Ernst, who is running for re-election on Tuesday, received $10,000, among the biggest Bayerpac contributions. Maurin points out that Ernst has denied on several occasions that climate change is primarily caused by humans. “I think there is probably a contribution there, but again, if we wipe industry off the face of the earth, the climate is still going to change,” she said in 2019. Ernst has also demanded that the US Environmental Protection Agency be dissolved and supported Trump in installing an industry-friendly chief there. Bayerpac also donated $10,000 to House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who supported Trump during the party's primary election for the 2016 presidential candidate. Commenting on the causes of climate change in 2014, he was vague, saying: “There are a lot of things that contribute to it." McCarthy also rejected President Barack Obama's plans for stricter regulation of coal-fired power plant emissions, the article says.

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