Leonardo DiCaprio funneled grants through dark money group to fund climate nuisance lawsuits, emails show
DiCaprio’s foundation awarded grants to the Resources Legacy Fund, a dark money group, which then donated to a private law firm suing oil companies over climate change
By Thomas Catenacci | Fox News
Leonardo DiCaprio’s non-profit foundation awarded grants to a dark money group which, in turn, funneled money to a law firm spearheading climate nuisance lawsuits nationwide, according to emails reviewed by Fox News Digital.
Correspondence between Dan Emmett, a major philanthropist, and Ann Carlson — a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) climate professor — in 2017 revealed that the two worked with law firm Sher Edling to raise money for its efforts to sue oil companies over alleged climate change deception on behalf of state and local governments, according to the emails obtained by watchdog group Government Accountability & Oversight (GAO) and shared with Fox News Digital.
In their emails, Emmett and Carlson discuss how Chuck Savitt, Sher Edling’s director of strategic client relationships, had sought Emmett’s support and had already received support from Terry Tamminen in his role as the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s CEO, a title he held between 2016 and 2019. When the emails were exchanged, Carlson, who is now a senior Biden administration official, served as co-director of the UCLA Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment, the advisory board which Emmett still chairs.
“Chuck Savitt who is heading this new organization behind the lawsuits has been seeking our support,” Emmett wrote to Carlson on July 22, 2017. “Terry Tamminen in his new role with the DiCaprio Foundation has been a key supporter.”
Emmett also forwarded a message Savitt sent him three days earlier on July 19, 2022 asking for his support, according to the records. Savitt mentioned in that email that Sher Edling’s first lawsuits were filed with the support of the Collective Action Fund for Accountability, Resilience and Adaptation, a fund managed at the time by dark money group Resources Legacy Fund (RLF).
“Wanted to let you know that we filed the first three lawsuits supported by the Collective Action Fund on Monday,” Savitt had told Emmett. “These precedent setting cases call on 37 of the world’s leading fossil fuel companies to take responsibility for the devastating damage sea level rise – caused by their greenhouse gas emissions – is having on coastal communities.”