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Advocating Inaction: A Historical Analysis of the Global Climate Coalition

April 11, 2022

An article in Environmental Politics by CSSN Director of Research Robert Brulle reveals the extensive public relations campaign employed by the Global Climate Coalition.


Ever since climate change became a political issue in the late 1980s, a number of industry coalitions have formed to oppose mandatory carbon emissions reductions. One key coalition was the Global Climate Coalition (GCC). This paper conducts a historical and empirical review of the activities of this coalition. This review shows that the GCC engaged in four distinct activities to obstruct climate action: 1) monitoring and contesting climate science, 2) commissioning and utilizing economic studies to amplify and legitimate their arguments, 3) shifting the cultural understanding of climate change through public relations campaigns and 4) conducting aggressive lobbying of political elites. Through these activities, the GCC played an important role in obstructing climate action, both in the U.S. and internationally. Further analysis of similar coalitions can aid in our understanding of the organized opposition to climate action.

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