This article has been published in collaboration with Platform Authentieke Journalistiek as part of the Shell Papers project, and should be credited to Alexander Beunder, Jilles Mast, Merel de Buck, and Bas van Beek.
Shell and other Dutch multinationals donated over a million guilders – close to half a million Euros – to prominent Dutch climate science denier Frits Böttcher during the 1990s, documents from his personal archives reveal. Böttcher’s explicit objective: to question human responsibility for global warming.
“In the past three years I managed to coordinate the scientific opposition against the CO2-Hetze [hate campaign]”, Böttcher, who died in 2008, writes in a letter to Hubert Knoche, then secretary general of the lobby group of European oil refiners Europia. The year is 1996 and the emeritus professor of chemistry, although 80 years old, is at the height of his prominence in the climate debate.