In Climate Change Minister Penny Wong’s corner were Australia’s chief scientist, Penny Sackett, and eminent climate scientist Will Steffen.
“Global warming quite clearly over the last decade hasn’t been actually occurring,” Senator Fielding said before the meeting.
“I also believe there is climate change.”
The Senate is due to vote on emissions trading next week.
Senator Fielding recently returned from a self-funded trip to the US where he met with scientists who blame global warming on solar activity.
He took charts into today’s meeting to show that global temperatures had not increased since 1998.
He conceded temperatures “may be well above the average” but said they had not gone up any higher lately.
Prof Steffen emerged from the 90-minute meeting to say that global warming was real.
While 1998 was a particularly hot year, the decade since had remained warmer than average.
“The climate’s still pretty warm,” the Australian National University academic said.
“A lot of the arguments I’ve seen put forward … wouldn’t get through a PhD student at ANU.”
A spokesman for Senator Fielding said the evidence put forward by his team had given Senator Wong food for thought.
The Senator felt his key questions had not been answered in the meeting, but he was going to spend some time thinking it over.
Meanwhile, the consumer watchdog has been asked to investigate whether big business is scaremongering about the costs of tackling climate change.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Australian Climate Justice Program have lodged a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The complaint alleges some companies are making “exaggerated” public statements about the costs of emissions trading, in a bid to gain more assistance under the scheme.
But the companies are toning it down to their shareholders to keep up the share price, complainants say.
The companies named in the complaint are Rio Tinto, Woodside, Xstrata, Boral, Caltex and BlueScope Steel.
Boral said it strongly refuted the allegations and said it was true that emissions trading would have significant consequences on its operations.