Global Climate Coalition: Documents Reveal How Secretive Fossil Fuel Lobby Group Manipulated UN Climate Programs
A fossil fuel–backed industry group was able to influence the process behind the United Nations climate assessments for decades, using lobbyists and industry-funded scientists to manipulate international negotiations, a cache of recently discovered documents reveals.
The documents include hundreds of briefings, meeting minutes, notes, and correspondence from the Global Climate Coalition (GCC). They were released Thursday by the Climate Investigations Center in collaboration with DeSmog and Climate Liability News. The documents date from 1989 and continue through 2002, when the lobbying group disbanded as its fossil fuel industry backers succumbed to public pressure to disavow its tactics.
The documents show how the GCC influenced international negotiations, manipulated the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) process, and undertook a disinformation campaign designed to cast doubt on mainstream climate science.
President George W. Bush speaks on climate change during remarks from the Rose Garden April 16, 2008. Credit: White House photo by Noah Rabinowitz, public domain
What was the Global Climate Coalition?
The GCC was initially part of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), before becoming its own entity in 1995. NAM has a long history of defending portions of its membership, including tobacco companies that were facing an onslaught of liability litigation, with aggressive tactics that include discrediting science, attacking scientists, and misleading the public.
Founding members of the GCC were mainly fossil fuel producers and utilities, including oil majors Shell, Texaco (now a part of Chevron), and Amoco (now part of BP); oil refiner and retailers ARCO (now a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum) and Phillips Petroleum; coal miners BHP-Utah International and Peabody; and utilities American Electric Power and Pacific Gas and Electric.
Other companies, including Exxon, joined later — and the international oil giant would go on to be a key player in the group.
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