The Global Climate Coalition’s (GCC) Science and Technology Assessment Committee’s (STAC) January 1996 meeting minutes were submitted along with other STAC papers during discovery in Green Mtn. Chrysler Plymouth Dodge Jeep v. Crombie and Central Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Witherspoon. Covered in part by The New York Times in 2009, the full set is available in full here.
STAC’s January meeting was held at the Southern Company’s D.C. offices and attended by representatives from Mobil, American Petroleum Institute, Duke Power (now Duke Energy), Western Fuels Association, Electric Power Research Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and other trade organizations, corporations, and utilities.
The minutes show the committee members removed a section examining “contrarian theories” that questioned climate science consensus from a “primer” the GCC was publishing to address the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Second Assessment findings. The documents also highlighted increased media coverage that described the extreme weather of 1996 as a result of climate change.The minutes also included a set of slides presented by John Kinsman of the Edison Electric Institute (a utility trade group behind climate denial efforts, notably its 1991 “Information Council on the Environment” media campaign). Kinsman’s slides reviewed findings of the IPCC. The slides, discussed in The People of California v. B.P., et al., demonstrate the level of scrutiny Kinsman and other GCC members paid to the coalition’s level of influence at IPCC meetings, the specific language used in the reports, and the nuance of its technical notes.
- Ned Leonard of the Western Fuels Association (WFA) joined the STAC Board of Directors.
- At the time that WFA assumed a leadership role within the GCC, WFA was distributing its own denial information independently. The WFA was responsible for the launch a separate arm of its operations, the Greening Earth Society, devoted to countering what it considered an “unnecessary fear among the public” of climate change.
- The GCC feared the increasing prevalence of climate change in the eyes of government and the general public. The minutes expressed trepidation that the government might soon call for non-voluntary action to reduce emissions.
Interested in more GCC documents? See more in the full Global Climate Coalition collection.