The accounting of “climate sceptic” Böttcher


At the end of February Follow the Money and De Volkskrant revealed that emeritus professor of chemistry Frits Böttcher received funding from 25 companies and organizations in the 1990s for his 'frontal attack' on the #klimaatwetenschap - Yes. Today, we publish an overview of all donations to Böttcher's 'CO2 project', and explain how we overcame the amounts — despite attempts at concealing funding through creative accounting.


Frits Böttcher (1915-2008), emeritus professor of chemistry, advisor to Shell and one of the founders of the Club of Rome, received a total of 1.13 million guilders from 25 companies and organizations between 1990 and 1998 for his role in the climate debate. In this period, Böttcher, according to his own words, conducted a 'frontal attack' on prevailing climate science.
The top five donors were Shell (fl. 271,849), steel giant Hoogovens (now Tata Steel, fl. 166,000), chemical group DSM (fl. 85,000), Bovag (fl. 75,000) and NAM (fl. 60,000). The money came into a separate account of Böttcher's Global Institute for the Study of Natural Resources.
As companies in the later years of Böttcher's so-called 'CO2 project' became increasingly cautious in financing out of fear of public opinion, finding out the amounts was not always easy.
A foundation founded by Böttcher in 1994 with British like-minded people, the European Science and Environmental Forum, claimed to be independent of external interests and receive only revenue from the sale of publications. However, hundreds of their books that contain criticisms of climate science were bought by companies in the oil, coal, chemical and steel industries.
Böttcher was also financed by companies before and after the CO2 project (1990-1998). As early as 1979, his foundation received 30,000 guilders from Shell to investigate the greenhouse effect. The relationship with his former employer continued until his death in 2008: between 2006 and 2008, Böttcher received 90,000 euros from Shell for an autobiographical project, which was never completed.