The Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s wealthiest private philanthropies, has funded multiple studies in the field of environmental science. With $29.3 billion in assets, you’d think the United Kingdom-based organization could even afford to take fossil fuel companies to task for contributing to climate change…right? Wrong.
Though the Wellcome Trust touts itself as a philanthropy that supports research to investigate “what makes cities healthy and environmentally sustainable,” its offshore investments tell a different story. According to an investigation published today in Science, a significant chunk of the Wellcome Trust’s $1.2 billion handouts in recent years has come from “companies that contribute to the same problems the philanthropy wants to solve.”
For example, the Trust funded a study on the sobering reality of air pollution in Hong Kong that found elderly residents exposed to smog and especially soot were more likely to die of cancer than people who breathed cleaner air.