- A proposed Biden administration rule would give a coalition of climate activist organizations the power to mandate emissions targets for some federal contractors, including the Department of Defense.
- The World Resources Institute (WRI), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and CDP form the coalition and have operations in China, which exercises strict control over international non-governmental organizations working within its borders.
- “Subjecting the American Armed Forces’ ability to acquire needed products to the decision making of NGOs who may have significant donations, motivations, or other potential connections to foreign adversaries compromises America’s national security,” Delek, an energy company that supplies jet fuel to the U.S. Air Force, said.
The Biden administration proposed a rule that would subject hopeful contractors for certain federal agencies to emissions targets set by a coalition of activist organizations, some of which work with the Chinese government.
According to the November 2022 proposal, the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) must validate greenhouse gas emissions reduction plans for all “major” companies before they can do business with the Department of Defense (DOD), NASA and the General Services Administration (GSA). SBTi is a partnership of the United Nations and various climate activist organizations with ties to the China, including two whose China-based operations function under branches of the Beijing government.
The rule “beholds federal contractors to the approval of the U.N. and NGOs who may have significant ties to foreign adversaries such as China,” Republican lawmakers said in a May 17 response to the rule.
In 2015, sustainability professionals from the World Resources Institute (WRI), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), CDP and UN Global Compact came together after the Paris Climate Accords to find ways for corporations to set benchmarks and devise plans to meet the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to Technology Review. SBTi emerged from the coalition and sets the global standard for so-called science-based climate objectives.
China manipulates nonprofits to promote a positive image of China in exchange for access to federal funding, visas and important government leaders, Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas and former Republican Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah wrote in a 2018 letter, citing research reports and news articles. A 2017 law placed international NGOs under Chinese police control to support the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence operations, Chongyi Feng, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, wrote.
WRI, an organization that researches development and environmental issues, operates in China under “the guidance and supervision” of the Beijing Public Security Bureau and Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the GOP lawmakers, who subpoenaed the organization in 2018 to investigate its alleged ties to the Chinese government, wrote.
The organization works with Chinese businesses and national and local government bodies on environmental policies, according to the organization’s website. It received a registration certificate in 2017 after nine years of operating in China
“WRI leadership regularly interacts with senior Chinese government and Communist party officials and provides public support for Chinese environmental programs,” the members of Congress wrote.
The World Wildlife Fund, a global nonprofit focused on protecting wildlife and their habitats, established a Beijing office in 1995 and works closely with the State Forestry Ministry on conservation efforts, according to the organization’s website.
CDP is a global non-profit that operates a system for businesses to disclose their climate-related activities and has a regional base in China, CDP’s website shows.
Under the proposed administration rule, all companies seeking federal contracts with DOD, NASA and GSA — which services all federal agencies — larger than $50 million annually would have to submit emissions reduction targets to the aforementioned organizations that form SBTi for validation. If SBTi doesn’t approve contractors’ emissions targets, the proposals would be disqualified.
Representatives of the oil and gas industry, which fuel the U.S. military’s vast fleets of aircraft, ground vehicles and some seagoing vessels, pushed back against the rule, noting that SBTi has not set validation targets for fossil fuel companies.
Further, SBTi is a “foreign entity” composed of activist organizations and “thus are not neutral bodies,” American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers wrote in a response to the rule.
“These groups are not subject to … procedural and transparency checks. Because these procedural and transparency checks are missing for third parties like SBTi, there is also a national security risk given that they may rely on both foreign actor,” according to AFPM.
“This proposed rule applies also to contractors who do business with the U.S. military, subjecting the American Armed Forces’ ability to acquire needed products to the decision making of NGOs who may have significant donations, motivations, or other potential connections to foreign adversaries compromises America’s national security,” Delek, an energy company that supplies jet fuel to the U.S. Air Force, wrote in a formal comment on the tentative rule. “These organizations by definition are not objective but are instead guided by internal advocacy missions.”
WRI, WWF, CDP and the UN Global Compact did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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