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Peter Getty is a philanthropist and contributing blogger for the Huffington Post. His work and writings revolve around environmental issues. Getty's philanthropic initiatives, as well as the organizations he supports, are committed to protecting the environment and spreading environmental awareness.

The Hypocritic Oath: Gates Foundation Tainted by Investments in Big Oil

Every year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Asset Trust dips into its $43 billion endowment to fund various healthcare, education and environmental initiatives. It turns out, more than $1 billion of that endowment is tied up in those very companies that are making the planet uninhabitable.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Despite their public stance on the threat of climate change, recent findings indicate that they hold $1.4 billion of investments in 35 of the world’s top fossil fuel companies, Exxon, Shell and BP among them. In a January 2015 letter, “Our Big Bet for the Future”, the Gates called climate change “so serious that the world needs to move much more aggressively — right now — to develop energy sources that are cheaper, can deliver on demand, and emit zero carbon dioxide.”

Analyzed by reporters at The Guardian, the Gates Foundation’s 2013 tax filing revealed the disturbing oil and gas investments. The newspaper has since started an online petition urging the Gates to sever their ties to fossil fuels. In just four days, this petition has received more than 140,000 signatures. So far, the foundation has not commented on the controversy.

The worst part? This tarnishes so many of the great things the Gates Foundation has done. As communicated in the Gates’ annual letter, the climate situation is dire. Luckily, there’s still time to put their money where their mouths are.