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.

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.

Will Mainstream Media Be Duped in 2018 by Climate Denial Spin Doctors?

Read time: 4 mins

Will 2018 be the year that mainstream media is not duped by professional spin doctors and fake experts paid to downplay and deny the realities of climate change?

Call me cynical, but after more than a decade of research and writing into the role big fossil fuel companies have played in sponsoring coordinated attacks on climate science with public relations spin, I remain unconvinced we won’t see a resurgence in climate denial.

Later this year, a major update on the state of climate change research — the impacts, solutions, scientific underpinnings, etc. — will be released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Here’s What to Look Out For on Climate Change in 2018

Read time: 9 mins
Smokestacks winter

As 2017 came to a close, warnings of the catastrophic impact of climate change intensified. Devastating floods and hurricanes have highlighted the vulnerability of some communities around the world and the rise of carbon dioxide levels in the atmospheres shows efforts to tackle climate change urgently need to be ramped up.

In the UK, ongoing Brexit negotiations have brought no more certainty on the future of environmental regulation, while the government continues to support new and old fossil fuels industries.

Scientists: Strengthen Paris Climate Commitments or Expect 2°C Warming by 2050

Read time: 3 mins
Hot sun

We have permanently breached the symbolic 400 ppm threshold for the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere this week. Scientists believe we are now unlikely to live in a world with less CO2 than this, putting us on track for dangerous climate impacts.

And now, new analysis released today by seven leading climate scientists warns the world could be on course to warm by 2°C as soon as 2050.

Published by the Argentina-based NGO, Universal Ecological Fund, the report was authored by several scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including Dr Carlo Carraro, Dr Pablo Canziani, Dr Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Dr James J McCarthy, Dr Jose Goldemberg, along with Sir Robert Watson, former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Lilianna Hisas, executive director of Universal Ecological Fund.

The authors argue that the pledges made by the world’s nations in Paris last December are “inadequate” if we want to slow climate change.

Remember When Lord Lawson Brought Climate Denial to the House of Lords?

Read time: 4 mins

Lord Lawson would command the admiration and gratitude of the sceptic cause when he raised the economics of climate change in the House of Lords. DeSmog UK’s epic history series continues.

Lord Nigel Lawson delivered the coup de grâce in June 2005 when he persuaded his fellow peers on the economic affairs committee of the House of Lords to examine the economics of climate change.

As a committee member, Lawson persuaded the House of Lords to launch a powerful and high profile Parliamentary inquiry examining allegations that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had based its analysis on poor statistics and economics.

No 'Slowdown' In Global Surface Temperatures After All, Study Finds

Read time: 8 mins

This article has been cross-posted from Carbon Brief.

A new paper published on June 4 says the much-discussed “slowdown” in warming at Earth's surface may not exist after all.

The study, published in the journal Science, says it is likely to be largely a figment of the way temperature records have been pieced together over time.

Scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reanalysed temperature records and concluded that surface warming over the past 15 years is higher than reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body set up to assess global warming. Temperatures are rising at least as fast as they were in the second half of the 20th century, say the authors.

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