Science groups launch petition urging journal publisher to share plan for halting anti-climate practices

SGR and UCS call on scientists to support our campaign on Elsevier's fossil fuel industry links.

Media release, 12 October 2022
 

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) today launched a petition requesting a formal response from Elsevier and its parent company RELX that outlines how they intend to meet their commitments as a member of the UN Race to Zero campaign. As a signatory of this campaign, Elsevier—which publishes nearly 3,000 journals accounting for about 15% of all academic publishing—pledged to halt the facilitation of new fossil fuel assets and ensure their external activities are aligned with the goal of reaching net-zero heat-trapping emissions by 2050.

“The scientific realities of the climate crisis are undeniable in the peer-reviewed literature,” said Dr Kristina Dahl, a principal climate scientist with UCS and a signatory to the petition. “It’s time for the companies publishing these journals to walk the talk and align their actions with what is outlined in the global Paris climate agreement as that’s what the science demands. Elsevier has already taken the first step by signing onto the U.N.’s Race to Zero pledge, now they need to publicly declare the actions they will take to meet that commitment.” A related blogpost by Dr Dahl can be found here.

The petition emphasized activities Elsevier and RELX currently undertake that should be halted for the betterment of the climate, including:

  • Providing fossil fuel industry-oriented research and development, as well as data services, used by most top oil, gas, and coal companies
  • Lobbying and financially supporting U.S. politicians who block climate action
  • Disseminating content, informing practices and techniques, and providing information and resources related to expansion of fossil fuel exploration
  • Hosting coal, offshore drilling, and other industry exhibitions that enable participants to grow their businesses and boost fossil fuel production


Notes

For more information on SGR, see: https://www.sgr.org.uk/pages/about-sgr

For more information on UCS, see: https://www.ucsusa.org/about