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Leonardo DiCaprio funneled grants through dark money group to invest in climate nuisance lawsuits

Leonardo DiCaprios non-profit foundation awarded grants to a dark money group which, subsequently, funneled money to an attorney spearheading climate nuisance lawsuits nationwide, in accordance with emails reviewed by Fox News Digital.

Correspondence between Dan Emmett, a significant philanthropist, and Ann Carlson a University of California, LA (UCLA) climate professor in 2017 revealed that both worked with lawyer Sher Edling to improve money because of its efforts to sue oil companiesover alleged climate change deceptionwith respect to state and local governments, based on the emails obtained by watchdog group Government Accountability & Oversight (GAO) and distributed to Fox News Digital.

Within their emails, Emmett and Carlson discuss how Chuck Savitt, Sher Edlings director of strategic client relationships, had sought Emmetts support and had already received support from Terry Tamminen in his role because the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundations CEO, a title he held between 2016 and 2019. Once the emails were exchanged, Carlson, who’s now a senior Biden administration official, served as co-director of the UCLA Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the surroundings, the advisory board which Emmett still chairs.

Chuck Savitt who’s 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 is a key supporter.

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Emmett also forwarded a note Savitt sent him three days previously July 19, 2022 requesting his support, based on the records. Savitt mentioned for the reason that email that Sher Edlings first lawsuits were filed with the support of the Collective Action Fund for Accountability, Resilience and Adaptation, a fund managed at that time by dark money group Resources Legacy Fund (RLF).

Wished to inform you that people filed the initial three lawsuits supported by the Collective Action Fund on Monday, Savitt had told Emmett. These precedent setting cases ask 37 of the worlds leading fossil fuel companies to take responsibility for the devastating damage sea level rise due to their greenhouse gas emissions is wearing coastal communities.

Savitt also wanted to set up a gathering between Emmett and Vic Sher, somebody at Sher Edling.

The e-mail correspondence occurred two months prior to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation publicly announced it could contribute $20 million in grants to various climate and conservation causes. The groups announcement, which includes since beendeleted but remains archived, included a grant to the RLF to aid precedent-setting legal actions to carry major corporations in the fossil fuel industry liable, closely mirroring Savitts language.

These grantees are active on the floor, protecting our oceans, forests and endangered species for future generations and tackling the urgent, existential challenges of climate change, DiCaprio said at that time.

Tamminen added that the business believed it had a need to do just as much as we are able to now, before it really is too late. The announcement didnt mention Sher Edling.

In February 2018, months following the initial email exchange, Emmett told Carlson that she could mention to other prospective donors he and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation were now serious supporters of Sher Edlings ongoing litigation. The suggestion came after Carlson asked whether she should ask NY philanthropist Andy Sabin to aid your time and effort.

It is possible to simply tell him Terrys organization and I are both serious supporters, you are an advisor, that the science will there be, that it might do more for the surroundings than simply about anything going on if it succeeds, Emmett said in the e-mail Carlson.

As well as the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the Emmett Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and JPB Foundation have contributed to the Collective Action Fund since 2017.

Sher Edlings website states that the firm isspecifically focused on representingstates, cities, public agencies, and businesses in high-impact, high-value environmental cases. Since its initial cases in July 2017 filed with respect to a city and two counties in California Sher Edling has sued major oil companies with respect to Delaware, Minnesota, Rhode Island, NEW YORK, Washington D.C., SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, Baltimore, Honolulu andseveral local governments in the united states, alleging the firms have deceived the general public about climate change.

The majority of the cases are ongoing with two, involving SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA and Oakland, Calfornia, on appeal before a federal panel.

Obviously, the donors created including DiCaprio several purported arms lengths, Chris Horner, an attorney who represented GAO in the event relating to the emails, told Fox News Digital within an interview.

This model used a few pass-throughs, where DiCaprio and, it seems, Dan Emmett among others could run things, including DiCaprios foundation and Resources Legacy Fund, and theyre not viewed as financing the assault, Horner added.

Overall, the RLF contributed a lot more than $5.2 million to Sher Edling between 2017 and 2020, based on the groups tax filings throughout that period. The business doesnt disclose its donors and declined to verify who it previously received money from to invest in Sher Edlings litigation.

Leonardo DiCaprio
The actor is well known to make active efforts bringing awareness to climate change.
Getty Images for Turner

From 2017 to 2020, Sher Edling received grants from RLF to pursue charitable activities to carry fossil fuel companies in charge of the accuracy of information that they had disseminated to consumers and the general public concerning the role their products played in causing climate change, an RLF spokesperson Mark Kleinman told Fox News Digital within an email.

RLF receives support from many funding entities, and its own board of directors and staff make all decisions concerning where in fact the funding goes, the spokesperson continued.

Experts have previously raised concerns concerning the way to obtain Sher Edlings funding because of its climate litigation.

Michael Krauss, a law professor emeritus at George Mason University, noted in a 2020 Forbes article the arrangement where Sher Edling receives a payout from localities it represents if its cases are successful while, simultaneously, it receives funding from tax-exempt groups, thereby removing some risk associated with dealing with such cases.

Can a non-profit funnel donations to a for-profit lawyer which has already determined another type of compensation? Kraus wrote. May an attorney, that could be fabulously enriched on a contingent basis, ethically accept funding that’s paid set up client prevails?

If legislation through litigation is bad, what things to label of legislation through litigation subsidized by taxpayers through charitable donations? We dont have all of the answers to these questions yet, he continued. I believe we deserve them.

Emmett, Tamminen, Sabin and the planet earth Alliance, a business that subsumed the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 2019, didnt react to requests for comment.

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