Credo Action

If Edelman won’t take a stand on climate, its top executives must.

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Petition to Edelman executives:

"Edelman executives with integrity are resigning over the firm’s contribution to accelerating climate change. If Edelman won’t stop promoting climate change, you should stand with former colleagues and resign."

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    If Edelman won’t take a stand on climate, its top executives must.

    In recent months, four high-level executives have resigned from Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, because of its refusal to stop working for the fossil fuel industry.1

    Edelman’s clients reportedly still include Chevron and Shell, and a report last year by Climate Investigations Center highlighted Edelman’s work for pro-coal group Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)2 – which Edelman has refused to say if they currently represent.3 Edelman's past clients include the American Petroleum Institute and Keystone XL pipeline builder TransCanada.4

    This work stands in stark contrast to the stated principles of the company: Edelman already refuses to represent tobacco companies or gun manufacturers. But on fossil fuels, Edelman is still trying to play both sides.

    Edelman is feeling the pressure as executives and some environmentally minded clients are leaving the firm. This is a moment to directly and personally call out Edelman’s dangerous hypocrisy, and send a message around the world.

    Tell Edelman executives: “Stop promoting climate change. If Edelman won’t take a stand, you should.”

    Not even this leading communications firm can square the tension between its rhetoric on corporate responsibility and big money clients that are destroying the planet.

    Edelman’s statement on climate change is dissembling at best and a bald faced lie at worst, saying climate change “represents one of the most important global challenges facing society, business and government today” and “we do not accept client assignments that aim to deny climate change.”5

    But that’s obviously not true. The fact is, in the face of the overwhelming evidence on climate change, any attempt to continue promoting fossil fuels and fossil fuel expansion is outright denial.

    Tell Edelman Executives: “Stop promoting climate change. If Edelman won’t take a stand, you should.”

    Edelman calls itself “the PR industry’s longstanding thought leader and change agent.” With clients who are trying to drill the Arctic and block climate change regulations, Edelman certainly is an agent of change: climate change.

    In the lead-up to the Paris climate talks, pressuring the leading global public relations firm to take a stand – or encouraging its executives to – would be an important marker in building global momentum to move away from fossil fuels.

    Tell Edelman Executives: “Stop promoting climate change. If Edelman won’t take a stand, you should.”

    1. Edelman loses executives and clients over climate change stance, Marc Gunther, The Guardian, 7/7/15
    2. The World's Biggest PR Firm Is In Denial About Its Climate Change Denial, Brian Merchant, Vice, 8/12/14
    3. Edelman PR, Climate Investigations Center
    4. Edelman and TransCanada Part Ways After Leaked Documents Expose Aggressive PR Attack on Energy East Pipeline Opponents Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Canada, 11/26/14
    5. Edelman's Position on Climate Change, Edelman