Sceptic groups such as the Heartland Institute have started to arrive in the French capital, sparking fears among environment groups that they will derail proceedings using funds from fossil fuel interests.
A new documentary, Climate Hustle, was due to be premiered in Paris tonight (Monday). Producers claim it will be for nonbelievers what Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth was for the converted.
Climate change action lobby group SumOfUs has pushed back with an international campaign to raise funds for a counter offensive.
The group has planned a major advertising campaign in France’s biggest-selling newspapers.
It has called on UN organisers to revoke the conference credentials “of the most disingenuous climate deniers”.
A fundraising letter, sent to Australian recipients from Paris, said “an army of polluter-funded global warming deniers have just arrived and are threatening to derail a serious international agreement”. It said some of the “world’s most notorious climate deniers” had crashed the French proceedings “in a last-minute attempt to derail the whole thing”.
“The Heartland Institute is running a full-on ‘counter conference’ of lying climate deniers and phony ‘scientists’,” SumOfUs said.
“One notorious oil industry-funded climate denier is debuting a documentary film full of lies and misinformation. (Climate Depot Note on Climate Hustle: This is a completely false. Climate Hustle movie was fully funded by the support of roughly 1,500 citizen supporters. More information is available at www.ClimateHustle.com/press)
“We are even hearing that James Inhofe — the US senator who wrote a book calling global warming the ‘greatest hoax ever perpetrated’ — is on his way.”
Tensions are heightened as the Paris talks for a global agreement enter their final week with deep divisions remaining over the target for global temperature rises, how national promises should be policed, who should pay and how often the process should be reviewed.
Within the Paris conference, there has been little debate about the state of climate science.
The question has been whether to limit rises to 2C or 1.5C, with Australia supporting the mention of a 1.5C target in the official text. But outside the conference, at venues in the centre of Paris, has been a who’s who of contrarian climate science personalities.
A three-day conference last week included presentations from Bob Carter, professor Murry Salby, professor Ian Plimer, Viscount Monckton and international journalist Donna Laframboise.
Dr Carter said the measures used by climate change believers could be explained by “normal natural variation”.