“Revenant” star Leonardo DiCaprio’s non-profit foundation allegedly helped fund nationwide lawsuits against oil companies for alleged climate change deception by funneling grants through a dark money group.
According to Fox News, watchdog group Government Accountability & Oversight (GAO), a string of emails dating back to 2017, revealed that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation was a “key supporter” of law firm Sher Edling’s three lawsuits against “the world’s leading fossil fuel companies” for rising levels in Southern California.
The 2017 correspondence between Dan Emmett, a philanthropist, and current Biden administration official Ann Carlson, who was a climate change professor at UCLA at the time, discussing how the DiCaprio Foundation’s then CEO Terry Tamminen was already on board.
“Chuck Savitt who is heading this new organization behind the lawsuits has been seeking our support,” Emmett wrote. “Terry Tamminen in his new role with the DiCaprio Foundation has been a key supporter. I don’t know how realistic this approach is from a practical and legal point of view though I respect the good intentions and the message.”
The email also included a forward of Savitt’s email to Emmett three days prior, which confirmed that the lawsuits were backed by the Collective Action Fund for Accountability, Resilience and Adaptation, which was managed by Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), a dark money group.
“Wanted to let you know that we filed the first three lawsuits supported by the Collective Action Fund on Monday,” Savitt said in the July 19 email to Emmett. “These precedent setting cases call on 37 of the world’s leading fossil fuel companies to take responsibility for the devastating damage sea level rise – caused by their greenhouse gas emissions – is having on coastal communities.”
Two months later, DiCaprio’s foundation announced that they were donating $20 million to a slew of conservation groups to tackle “the urgent, existential challenges of climate change,” in a since deleted statement on their website.
They granted an undisclosed sum to RLF “to support precedent-setting legal actions to hold major corporations in the fossil fuel industry liable.”
According to tax records, RLF contributed upwards of $5.2 million towards the Sher Edling lawsuits.