IRVING, Texas: Exxon Mobil has been accused - not for the first time - of digging deep into its black gold pockets to fund a campaign of misinformation about global warming.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-headquartered Union of Concerned Scientists claims the oil titan has spent a modest but effective $16 million (€12m; £8m) since 1998 to support a network of 43 little-known advocacy organizations that work to confuse the public on global warming science.

A new report from the UCS accuses Exxon of using the same tactics employed by tobacco companies "to manufacture uncertainty about the health hazards posed by secondhand smoke".

The report mirrors similar claims by the UK's leading scientific academy, the Royal Society, which wrote to the oil company in September asking it to halt support for groups that "misrepresented the science of climate change".

Exxon says the Union's accusations are "another attempt to smear our name and confuse the discussion".

It adds: "Our support extends to a fairly broad array of organizations that research significant domestic and foreign policy issues and promote discussion on issues of direct relevance to the company."

The company claims it has responded to the risks of climate change by reducing its own energy use and seeking to improve fuel efficiency with vehicle makers.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff