IPCC

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.

US and Saudi Arabia Block UN Efforts at Climate Geoengineering Governance

Read time: 4 mins
UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya

This is a guest post by Linda Schneider of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

At the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, this week, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia blocked a push to gather information on potentially regulating climate geoengineering technologies. Switzerland, along with 11 other countries, including Micronesia, Senegal, and New Zealand, had submitted a draft resolution mandating a report on the state of research, risks, and possible governance options related to geoengineering efforts.

How a Game Can Move People From Climate Apathy to Action

Read time: 6 mins
Students at the University of Maine Farmington play World Climate simulation game
By Juliette N. Rooney-Varga, University of Massachusetts Lowell

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been called a “deafening” alarm and an “ear-splitting wake-up call” about the need for sweeping climate action. But will one more scientific report move countries to dramatically cut emissions?

Evidence, so far, says no. Countless scientific studies have been published since the 1970s on the dangers of climate change, many offering similar projections. And social science research shows that showing people research doesn’t work. So, if more reports and information don’t spark action, what will?

In a recent study led by the University of Massachusetts Lowell Climate Change Initiative, we identified a promising approach: Playing a game called the World Climate Simulation, originally developed by the nonprofit organization Climate Interactive, in which participants play delegates at international climate change negotiations.

Is Climate Science Denial Leading to Human Rights Violations, Asks Philippines Commission

Read time: 3 mins
Boy walking through Typhoon Ketsana floodwaters in Milan in 2009

By Kert Davies, Climate Investigations Center. Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.

As climate change liability — who is to blame — increasingly lands in courtrooms around the globe, the Philippines Commission on Human Rights is taking a different and unique approach, investigating climate change impacts as a human rights infringement. The commission has held a series of hearings this year to investigate the role of fossil fuel companies (also known as “carbon majors“) in causing climate change, concealing climate science, delaying policy solutions, and facilitating the climate crisis of the Filipino people.

On 60 Minutes Trump Says: 'I'm Not Denying Climate Change'

Read time: 3 mins
Donald and Melania Trump tour Florida after Hurricane Michael

By Kert Davies, Climate Investigations Center. Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.

Climate change is coming at Trump even as he tries like hell to avoid the subject. Record-setting hurricanes, Florence and Michael, have caused devastation across the southeast United States. Meanwhile, the grim UN IPCC “1.5 degree” report pushed climate scientists into the headlines last week while Trump was out and about, apparently unleashed, talking to media.

'Vast Blind Spot': IPCC Accused of Ignoring 'Decades Long' Fossil Fuel Misinformation Campaign on Climate

Read time: 6 mins
Charles Koch

The United Nations (UN) climate science panel is being accused of ignoring research into fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns that have been key to holding back action on global warming.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — an assessment of more than 6,000 research papers — found global warming caused largely by fossil fuel burning would have severe impacts even if limited to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Described by the IPCC as “one of the most important climate change reports ever published,” the report is designed to inform policy makers and the public around the world.

But several researchers are angry the report did not take account of academic research into the “decades-long misinformation campaign” funded and promoted by fossil fuel interests and so-called “free market” conservative think tanks that has been a major brake on progress.

Climate Science Deniers Respond to IPCC 1.5C Report with Anger, Fear, and Distortion

Read time: 10 mins
I don't believe in global warming

A big UN report arrived on Monday, saying in no uncertain terms that the world has up to two decades to massively cut emissions by transforming the global economy if we want to avoid terrible climate impacts.

Given the implications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) findings — government intervention, progressive social policies, more international aid — it’s perhaps not surprising that those who deny climate change is real or a problem pushed back. It took a few days, but the climate science deniers’ response to the IPCC report is now in full flow.

What we see is three distinct layers of climate science denial at play here:

There’s the ‘this isn’t happening’ sun-spot brigade. There’s the ‘this is happening but it’s all a Communist ruse’ zealots. And then there’s the team who reluctantly admit they’ve lost the debate but shoehorn in a number of caveats and excuses to justify why nothing should happen.

Fossil Fuel Companies Knew How Hard Keeping to IPCC's 'Unprecedented' 1.5C Limit Would Be — And Did Nothing

Read time: 6 mins
Benxi steel industry

The scientists are clear: “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are needed if the humans are going to prevent the world warming by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

This news — emanating from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) mammoth new special report —  comes as a surprise to almost no-one. Least of all the fossil fuel industry, which has known for decades that the carbon budget that keeps that goal within reach has been rapidly depleting thanks to its products.

IPCC Report Says 1.5C Climate Target Is Reachable, But Only With Rapid Fossil Fuel Phase Out

Read time: 5 mins
wind turbines in front of coal power plant in UK

There is no scenario to keep global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) that allows coal to be burned for electricity by the middle of this century, a major United Nations (UN) climate report says.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concludes human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have already pushed global average temperatures up by 1°C since the second half of the 19th century.

Warming is higher than the 1°C average over land, with temperatures as much as three times higher in the Arctic, causing melting. Extreme temperatures, rainfall, and sea levels have been pushed higher.

Massive and rapid transformations across societies will be needed to keep to a 1.5°C target, with dramatic cuts to fossil fuel use across all sectors of society.

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