global climate coalition

DC Is the Latest to Sue Exxon and Big Oil for Climate Disinformation Campaigns

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DC Attorney General Karl Racine

Washington, D.C. is suing the four largest investor-owned oil and gas companies — BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell — for allegedly misleading consumers about climate change, including historically undermining climate science and even now using deceptive advertising about the companies’ role in leading solutions to the climate crisis.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced the consumer fraud lawsuit on Thursday, June 25. The lawsuit claims that the four oil majors violated the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by engaging in misleading acts and practices around the marketing, promotion, and sale of fossil fuel products, which produce globe-warming pollution. The D.C. lawsuit alleges that these companies knew since at least the 1950s about the harmful consequences of burning fossil fuels and that they engaged in a campaign to deceive the public about those risks.

US Lobby Groups Most Effective at Blocking Climate Action – Report

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US lobby groups representing the fossil fuel and automotive industries are world leaders when it comes to stalling government action on climate change, new research shows.

Of the top 10 trade associations considered to be the most effective at opposing climate-friendly policies globally, seven are based in Washington DC, according to a report published this week by lobbying watchdog InfluenceMap.

The ‘Historical Jigsaw of Climate Deception’: Private Notes Show How Big Oil Spread Climate Science Denial

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Exxon Knew billboard

We’ve all heard the dodgy arguments: ‘the science is uncertain’, ‘climate change is natural, not down to humans’, ‘science has been hijacked by politics’… Now a new cache of documents sheds light on the origins of the disinformation.  

In another verse of a now familiar refrain, a fossil fuel industry group in the 1990s publicly promoted arguments to undermine confidence in climate science while internally acknowledging their products were driving up temperatures.  

Thousands of Fossil Fuel 'Observers' Attended Climate Negotiations: UNFCCC Data 2005-2018 for COP1-COP24

Read time: 12 mins
IETA exhibit at COP24

Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.

The collection of Global Climate Coalition (GCC) documents we compiled and released this April reveal that the organization had a singular focus, slowing down or derailing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations process and “tracking” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), undermining the scientists’ message of urgency.  In the GCC meeting minutes and press releases we see numerous interventions at the UN meetings along with strategies, budgets and debriefs.

So we decided it would be interesting to compile every fossil fuel company and trade group delegate who ever attended UNFCCC meetings. This research debuted in an Agence-France Press AFP piece and on Yahoo News this week during a UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, Germany.

How Big Oil Tried to Capture the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Read time: 10 mins
IPCC synthesis report meeting GCC

A secretive fossil fuel lobby group undertook a decades-long campaign to undermine mainstream climate science while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and influence major scientific reports, a tranche of newly released documents shows.

The Global Climate Coalition (GCC) was a fossil-fuel backed lobby group active in the mid-90s and early 2000s. A collection of briefings, meeting minutes, notes, and correspondence from the group, released by the Climate Investigations Centre in collaboration with DeSmog and Climate Liability News, show how the GCC tried to manipulate the UN’s official scientific advisory body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Global Climate Coalition: Documents Reveal How Secretive Fossil Fuel Lobby Group Manipulated UN Climate Programs

Read time: 5 mins
Global Climate Coalition logo and 1997 strategy document cover image

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.

How Clinton's Presidency Caused Oil-Funded Lobbyists to Intensify Attacks on Climate Science

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The DeSmog UK epic history series continues with a look at how oil-funded lobbyists increased their attacks on climate science as Bill Clinton’s new policy era began.

The 1993 election of President Bill Clinton in the US heralded a new era in climate policy. And, in turn, the oil industry lobbyists would intensify their attacks on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Clinton appointed the accomplished and charismatic British climate scientist Dr Robert Watson as an adviser to the White House. Watson was also promoted to co-chairman of one of the three working groups within the IPCC.

The industry campaign was, at this time, still relatively transparent, with lobbyists Don Pearlman of the coal-funded Climate Council and John Shlaes, executive director of the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), receiving funding directly from the coal and oil industries respectively.

How Industry First Went to War With Climate Science

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Scientists had well understood for many decades that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere could raise global temperatures and cause climate change. But when politicians finally took notice, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed, industry began a war with science itself. 

Bert Bolin, the founder of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was the first scientist to detect signals from the coal and oil industry that there would be serious resistance to climate science and its policy implications. 

As soon as governments began taking the issue seriously, the energy industry mobilised its greatest assets in order to combat organised opposition to its climate-damaging activities.

The Global Climate Coalition (GCCwas formed as soon as the IPCC came into being and, as the name suggests, this was an industry-funded powerhouse designed to undermine any global coalition to prevent climate change.

Bolin notes: “The strategy pursued was primarily to minimise the significance of the possible impacts of climate change and to address procedural and legal issues.”

The majors would engage with the issue more quickly than some of the environmental campaign groups.

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