From the private collection of Nicky Sundt, a Washington-based climate change science, policy and communications expert, this document is a packet of various Global Climate Coalition (GCC) materials titled, “Background Information on the Global Climate Coalition.” The packet includes an overview of the GCC, a membership list, and six different “Backgrounder” and “News Release” publications from the organization. The industry-funded GCC opposed greenhouse gas regulations through direct engagement and collaboration with affiliated climate deniers from 1989 to 2002. Its membership spanned across the automotive, utility, manufacturing, petroleum, and mining industries.
Citations on the bottom of the cover sheet suggest that this packet may have been distributed at an event on Joint Implementation, a scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the GCC lobbied and endorsed, held by the “National Environment [sic] Policy Institute” at the Watergate Hotel on December 6, 1994.
Publications included in this document:
News Release: Industry Coalition Provides Recommendations on US Plan on Global Climate Change
This release covered the GCC’s comments on the Clinton Administration’s U.S. National Action Plan including “Twelve Areas for Concern or Needed Improvements.” GCC Executive Director John Shlaes stated, “The GCC also strongly supports the approach taken in the Plan to reject the use of rigid targets and timetables as a strategy for meeting the objectives of the climate treaty.”
News Release: Industry Coalition Releases Study Showing U.S. as a Leader in Energy Efficiency Among Industrialized Nations
This release covered the publication of a report prepared for the GCC by the EOP Group, “showing that the U.S. is a leader among the G-7 countries in energy efficiency.” The release stated: “The study clearly refutes those who say we lag behind other industrialized countries in energy efficiency. Unless someone wants to force Americans to live in significantly smaller homes, or can find a way to shrink the longer distances we have to travel and move products in this vast country, dramatic improvements in per capita energy use are simply not feasible.”
News Release: Global Climate Coalition Releases Study Showing U.S. Outpacing the European Community In Setting Tough Environmental Standards
This release covered the publication of a paper prepared for the GCC by the EOP group, which “reveals” that “the United states is outpacing countries of the European Community (EC) in setting tough environmental standards, spending on environmental protection and achieving significant environmental improvements.” Shlaes found the study to “debunk the myth that the United States is lagging in its commitment to preserving and protecting the environment.”
News Release: New Study Shows Major Reduction In Carbon Dioxide Emissions By U.S. Industry
This release covered another report prepared for the GCC by the EOP group. According to this release the report, published in 1993, “shows that while the economy grew by almost 50 percent between 1974 and 1988, U.S. industry actually reduced carbon dioxide emissions…by up to 37 percent.” Shlaes concluded that “This has direct implications for the policy debate between the White House and Congress as they continue to discuss the President’s Climate Action Plan.”
Backgrounder: Science and Global Climate Change: What Do We Know? What Are the Uncertainties?
This document described the greenhouse effect as “a natural phenomenon,” citing research from industry-funded climate deniers like Richard Lindzen, Patrick Michaels, and Fred Singer (scientists the GCC would internally denounce a year later).
The backgrounder contended that “scientists differ on whether the increase in the concentrations of these [greenhouse] gases will cause an ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’ … because the role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood.” The GCC cast doubt on “inexact and uncertain” climate models in “project[ing] future temperature and climate change scenarios,” presenting modeling as “unable to resolve how, where, or even whether potential global climate change can affect specific regions of the planet.”
The piece repeated some of GCC’s favorite talking points, stating that “increasing atmospheric CO2 levels may in fact accelerate plant growth” and prioritizing sound policy only after “resolving scientific uncertainty.” This backgrounder, with slight edits, can also be found here.
Backgrounder: Technology Cooperation: Sustaining Economic Growth and Environmental Improvement
In this document, the GCC stressed that “Technology innovation and cooperation, guided by the marketplace, not government mandates, is the key to addressing the dual challenges of sustaining economic growth and environmental improvement.”
They stated, “[g]iven the current high level of energy efficiency in the United States and other developed nations, reducing greenhouse gas emission by improving energy efficiency is far more cost-effective in developing and newly industrialized nations than in industrialized nations.”
Interested in more GCC documents? See more in the full Global Climate Coalition collection.