1997 AIAM Priority Agenda Status Report

The 1997 “Status Report” summarized key agenda items for the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM), noting the group’s progress on emissions mandates, harmonizing “international safety and emission standards,” and its membership status in the Global Climate Coalition (GCC). It was submitted during discovery in Green Mtn. Chrysler Plymouth Dodge Jeep v. Crombie and Central Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Witherspoon.

The report described the possibility of AIAM leaving the GCC, which was had received negative publicity for its climate lobbying activities, in favor of the International Climate Change Partnership (ICCP). As described in the summary, the missions of the two groups diverged: “The message of the GCC is there is no scientific basis for global warming,” whereas the ICCP “says it is prudent to take reasonable actions to mitigate any potential warming problem.” At the time of this report, the “AIAM Government Relations, Technical, and Manufacturing Operations Committees are considering whether to join ICCP rather than continuing with the GCC.”

Of primary interest in this status report is a summary of AIAM’s priority to “[p]articipate in the Development of National Policy on Global Warming and the Environment.” It observed that “worldwide negotiations have been going on for a number of years … to reduce greenhouse gases … believed to be contributing to global warming. Adoption of such an agreement is likely to result in an effort to increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for motor vehicles in the U.S.” AIAM noted that its measure of success would be to “ensure [that CAFE] changes…do not impose unreasonable burdens on the automotive industry.”

CAFE standards were an issue of great concern for AIAM; the group was a funder of the Coalition for Vehicle Choice (CVC), a now-defunct auto industry advocacy group established in 1991 that argued, “dramatic increases in CAFE standards [to be] inefficient, counterproductive and dangerous.”  CVC also held that climate change was based on “dangerous and ridiculous” science spread by “radical environmentalists.”
The document noted the upcoming UN Climate Negotiations regarding the Kyoto Protocol, expressing concern about the Clinton administration’s “more proactive stance supporting some long term reductions goals.” The Global Climate Coalition played a significant role in the US’ refusal to support the Kyoto Protocol, as evidenced in a 2001 State Department memo, which stated that “POTUS rejected Kyoto, in part, based on input from you [the GCC].”

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

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