Texaco quits global warming group

March 1, 2000

Web posted at: 2:57 a.m. EST (0757 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) --The industry group that led the fight against a treaty to curb global warming has lost another member.

Texaco has quit the Global Climate Coalition (GCC). The oil giant is the third Fortune 500 to quit the group in recent months, joining Ford and Daimler/Chrysler.

The GCC has been an aggressive critic of scientific studies linking global warming to emissions from fossil fuels.

The group has sponsored scientific studies, public speaking tours and advertising campaigns to challenge reports that suggest warming could be a major economic and environmental problem for the world in the coming century.

The GCC is made up of electric utilities, coal and oil companies, auto and petrochemical manufacturers and related trade associations.

However, support for the group has been fading in recent years. BP/Amoco, Royal Dutch Shell and Dow Chemical have all quit the group since 1997. Texaco quit last Friday.

Environmentalists are celebrating Texaco's announcement.

"It's virtually over for the Global Climate Coalition," said John Passacantando of the environmental group Ozone Action. "This has been the lead organization running the misinformation campaign on global warming."

Other observers say decisions like Texaco's could move the climate debate towards middle ground.

GCC officials are downplaying the defections. The group has changed its strategy to focus on lobbying the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an agreement that, if ratified, would commit the world's industrialized nations to reducing their emissions of the gases linked to global warming.

The GCC says that in the U.S., the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gases, the treaty could threaten up to 2-and-a- half million jobs.

The treaty is currently in limbo and most U.S. Senators say they would vote against ratifying the agreement.

CNN Correspondent Natalie Pawelski contributed to this report