1994 GCC John Shlaes Speech

This document is a 1994 speech delivered to the US-Austria Conference On Joint Implementation by John Shlaes, Executive Director of the industry-funded Global Climate Coalition.  The speech titled, Opportunities for International Cooperation to Mitigate Emissions of Greenhouse Gases, focused on the benefits of joint implementation (JI), a program Shlaes called “a long term win-win solution to reducing world wide emissions of greenhouse gases,” in lieu of “world wide regulatory schemes.” The 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.

Joint implementation is an emissions reduction scheme that allows one country to earn tradable credits by reducing emissions that other countries can purchase of they don’t meet their emissions targets. The GCC repeatedly lobbied and endorsed joint implementation.

Key quotes:

  1. “Joint implementation could be a long term win-win solution to reducing world wide emissions of greenhouse gases. It provides the opportunity to develop environmentally sound, flexible, market-based ways to cut emissions globally while allowing countries flexibility in achieving these reductions.”
  2. “World wide regulatory schemes are not necessary in order to luanch [sic] J.I. projects.”
  3. “Multilateral institutions don’t operate in the private sector, and while their assistance in promoting JI is welcome, the private sector will implement projects.”
  4. “It must be recognized that few firms would undertake joint implementation projects on the basis of reducing greenhouse gas emissions alone, although support by investment institutions could be sufficient to tilt the balance in favor of perhaps an otherwise marginal economic venture.”
  5. “Investment in J.I. and the transfer of environmentally efficient or sound technologies must not be encumbered by international standards that will act as disincentives to trade and investment.”
  6. “Some say we need to track every transaction, every investment and every process so some sort of international crediting scheme can be established to make JI work. But isn’t it enough that an industry’s investment in a country is both economically viable and reduces emissions at the same time?”

This document is part of the private collection of Nicky Sundt, a Washington-based climate change science, policy and communications expert.

Interested in more GCC documents? See more in the full Global Climate Coalition collection.

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