Exxon is still spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund both European and American organisations that seek to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on global warming, according to a new report by Corporate Europe Observatory, a Brussels-based watchdog.

“ExxonMobil invests significant amounts in letting think-tanks, seemingly respectable sources, sow doubts about the need for EU governments to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Olivier Hoedeman, of the Corporate Europe Observatory.

Hoedeman continues: “Covert funding for climate sceptics is deeply hypocritical because ExxonMobil spends major sums on advertising to present itself as an environmentally responsible company.”

It has long been known that the oil giant, which in 2005 recorded an all-time record for quarterly income, has spent millions of dollars to fund climate sceptics. Exactly how much is unknown but some estimates suggest $19m (£9.7m) since 1998.

CEO reports that the ExxonMobil Worldwide Giving Reports shows that the company has in previous years provided funds at least to the International Policy Network, the Centre for The New Europe, TCSDaily.com (formerly known as Tech Central Station) and the International Council for Capital Formation, the latter three are based in Brussels, and all are ardent opponents of the EU’s efforts to combat climate change.

The most recent ‘Worldwide Giving Report’ shows that ExxonMobil has in 2005 funded the climate change programs of Centre for The New Europe and the International Policy Network for $50,000 and $130,000 respectively

CEO suspects Exxon has also funded other groups engaged in undermining legislation. Its report said: “There is mounting evidence that many EU-focused think-tanks are heavily funded by corporations and this raises serious concerns about their agenda and their independence.”