Abstract: From GCC's Scepticism to WBCSD's Advocacy: The History of Corporate Response to Climate Change

Md Khalid Hossain


Corporations formed the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) in the late 1980s to counter their liabilities behind climate catastrophe. GCC intensively funded climate skeptics in its attempt to oppose the call for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, subsequent success of environment-friendly but profit-oriented business models have resulted in the emergence of the concept of ''new environmentalism'' in the business activities of corporations. While climate change impacts are becoming increasingly prominent, a transformation toward environmental pragmatism providing importance to sustainability, profitability, and environmental responsibility has also been viewed within corporations. Because of this transformation, although the GCC was deactivated in 2002 after losing its large corporate members, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), formed in 1995, has been increasingly attracting as members large corporations committed to sustainable development. In this paper, the historical shift from GCC's scepticism to WBCSD's advocacy regarding corporate response to climate change is presented through the example of a multinational corporation, British Petroleum (BP), while arguing that this historical shift is somewhat attributable to transaction cost analysis applied by the corporations.