PARIS (Reuters) – Months before the world's nations began forging a climate accord in Paris, a California environmentalist named John Niles was digging into his pockets to buy a slew of internet domain names.
A constant presence at past U.N.-sponsored climate deliberations, he had heard that the agreement to be hashed out in France would be named "The Paris Agreement" & he wanted to make sure any website that included those words was his.
"We needed that digital real estate," said Niles, a carbon dioxide expert at the non-profit Greenhouse Gas Management Institute. "It was a way to keep the control over information approximately the deal, to keep it out of the offensive guys' hands."
For Niles, that would include U.S. conservative groups like the Heartland Institute & the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which vocally oppose efforts to wean the global economy off planet-warming fossil fuels.
Heartland & CFACT last week sponsored a day of events in Paris aimed at casting doubt on the wisdom of a climate deal, including the launch of a movie called "Climate Hustle."
CFACT moreover runs a website called climatedepot.com devoted to arguments against regulating climate change.
"We didn't want them to use the name of this agreement for their arguments," Niles said.
Niles bought parisagreement.com, theparisagreement.org, & twelve other variations, according to a domain registry search on data provider whois.net. He then gave them to the U.S. green advocacy organization The Tropical Forest Group, which has been using them to publish updates on the talks.
"This allowed us to tell the story in our own way with as little bias as possible," said TFG director Patrick Cage. "Well, with the bias that we think an agreement is a satisfactory idea."
The Paris Agreement was adopted on Saturday. [ID:nL8N14103A]
(Writing by Richard Valdmanis)