Quantcast
Climate

'Kick Big Polluters Out' of COP21

On the heels of new findings that corporate influence is undermining climate policy progress globally and a U.S.congressional call for an investigation into ExxonMobil, civil society is mounting a historic campaign to jettison polluters from climate policymaking.

Kick Big Polluters Out is being launched from Bonn during the final week of negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Photo credit: Kickbigpollutersout.org

The campaign and new global platform, called Kick Big Polluters Out, is being launched from Bonn during the final week of negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) before the highly anticipated meetings in Paris. The launch comes just days after global actions from Kenya to ColombiaUganda to Sri Lanka, as advocates urged delegations to stand firm against industry interference, which has increased recently in the face of accelerating global action.

“Around the globe people are calling for action now. We don’t have time to waste; governments must act now,” said Jesse Bragg of Corporate Accountability International. “There are too many lives at risk today to leave tomorrow up to the climate offenders that are driving the problem.”

The movement was bolstered Friday with the release of a report from InfluenceMap that exposes Big Oil’s true intentions in climate policy. The report, the first of its kind to compare Big Oil’s PR to the often contradictory lobbying and advocacy done on its behalf by its many front groups, confirmed what many have known for some time: Big Oil has no intentions to walk the talk on climate change.

From direct sponsorship and cooptation of UNFCCC talks to external advisory commissions and initiatives, fossil fuel industry interference in policymaking is an obstacle at every level.  On Friday, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative—an alliance between some of the world’s largest oil and gas producers—released a  pro-oil report advocating for industry friendly “market-based” solutions.  And, just weeks ago Shell and BHP Billiton announced a partnership with McKinsey Consulting to “advise” governments on climate policy. Both efforts have already been met with skepticism from environmental groups and the media alike.

Inside the UNFCCC, big polluters like the fossil fuel industry and energy utilities have successfully institutionalized their influence of the process. In May, it was revealed that the next Conference of the Parties (COP 21) would be yet another “Corporate COP” with the announcement of a host of corporate sponsors, including Engie, Électricité de France (EDF) and Suez Environnement. Suez Environnement, infamous for its dealings in water privatization, is partially owned by Engie, which profits from fracking operations around the world, putting it at direct odds with the advancement of the treaty. EDF and Engie’s current coal operations account for the equivalent of nearly half of France’s entire emissions. 

Currently, industry involvement in the policymaking process is not only allowed, it’s encouraged, regardless of a corporation’s environmental track record. The Lima-Paris Action Agenda, a joint project of the incoming and outgoing COP presidents, the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UNFCCC Secretariat, encourages direct engagement with non-state actors—primarily identified as sub-national governments and corporations—as stakeholders in the policymaking process. To date, the Lima-Paris Action Agenda involves more than 1,100 corporations including major fossil fuel corporations, transportation corporations and energy utilitiesSuch an initiative not only allows some of the world’s biggest polluters to greenwash their image, it gives them access and leverage in the treaty process.

These tactics—cooptation, appropriation and PR posturing—are the same used by Big Tobacco to position itself on the side of health and stave off tobacco control action. The Kick Big Polluters Out campaign is rooted in the movement to rein in the tobacco industry during the development of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which came into force in 2005, contains a legally binding provision to mitigate the conflicts of interest the tobacco industry poses in the development and enforcement of public health and tobacco control policy.

Today’s official global platform launch in the run-up to Paris builds on the more than 350,000 people who have already called on their governments to take action. On Thursday, groups will hold an event in Bonn to discuss in detail the impact corporate interference is having on the outcomes of national and international climate policy.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Philippines to World Leaders: Our Survival Is Not Negotiable

Oslo Becomes First Capital City in the World to Divest From Fossil Fuels

10 Groundbreaking Solutions for a Sustainable Planet

24 Videos That Turn the Tide on Climate Change

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
vimeo.com

Video Shows Oil Company's Plans to Drill Arctic From Artificial Island

The Liberty Project has posted a video about its proposal to build the nation's first oil production platform in federal waters in the Arctic.

The video was quietly uploaded two months ago and shows Hilcorp Alaska's plan to build an artificial gravel island and undersea pipeline for its offshore drilling project in the Beaufort Sea. Frankly speaking, the five-minute clip—with its all-American voiceover and electric guitar riffs—is something you'd expect from a pickup truck commercial.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

Scientists Discover Sea Levels Rose in Sharp Bursts During Last Warming

By Rice University

Scientists from Rice University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi's Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies have discovered that Earth's sea level did not rise steadily but rather in sharp, punctuated bursts when the planet's glaciers melted during the period of global warming at the close of the last ice age. The researchers found fossil evidence in drowned reefs offshore Texas that showed sea level rose in several bursts ranging in length from a few decades to one century.

The findings appeared Wednesday in Nature Communications.

Keep reading... Show less
Gemasolar 15 MW Parabolic Power Plant in Spain / Greenpeace

Quitting Coal: New Global Survey Names the Companies, Countries and Cities

More than a quarter of the 1,675 companies that owned or developed coal-fired power capacity since 2010 have entirely left the coal power business, according to new research from CoalSwarm and Greenpeace. This represents nearly 370 large coal-fired power plants—enough to power around six United Kingdoms—and equivalent to nearly half a trillion dollars in assets retired or not developed.

While many generating companies go through this rapid makeover, the research also shows that a total of 23 countries, states and cities will have either phased out coal-fired power plants or set a timeline to do so by 2030.

Keep reading... Show less
Roderick Eime / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

New Evidence Suggests Ancient Egypt Was Brought Down By Volcanoes and Climate Change

Ancient Egypt is often described as an exotic place—pyramids, hieroglyphics, lavishly worshipped kings and queens.

But in many ways, it has a lot of parallels to modern life. It was an economically diverse, culturally vibrant and unequal place.

The millenniums-old society also struggled with a phenomenon that people today know all too well: climate change. And it may have ultimately led to the civilization's demise, according to a new paper by a team of researchers at Yale University.

The team of researchers studied the tail-end of ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic dynasty between 305-30 BCE.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Portuguese youth plaintiffs, from left to right: Simão and Leonor; Cláudia, Martim and Mariana; André and Sofia. Global Legal Action Network

Kids Harmed by Portugal Fires Reach Key Crowdfunding Goal for Climate Lawsuit

As Portugal reels from its worst wildfires on record, seven Portuguese children have met an important crowdfunding goal for their major climate lawsuit against 47 European nations.

More than £20,000 ($26,400) was pledged by 589 people, allowing the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)—the nonprofit coordinating the lawsuit—to identify and compile evidence to present to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. GLAN now has a new stretch target of £100,000.

Keep reading... Show less
Flying insects such as bees are important pollinators. Flickr / M I T C H Ǝ L L

German Nature Reserves Have Lost More Than 75% of Flying Insects

A new study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE adds more evidence that insect populations around the globe are in perilous decline.

For the study, researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands, alongside their German and English colleagues, measured the biomass of trapped flying insects at 63 nature preserves in Germany since 1989. They were shocked to discover that the total biomass decreased dramatically over the 27 years of the study, with a seasonal decline of 76 percent and mid-summer decline of 82 percent, when insect numbers tend to peak.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Politics

Pushing Toxic Chemicals and Climate Denial: The Dark Money-Funded Independent Women’s Forum

By Stacy Malkan

The Independent Women's Forum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has taken money from tobacco and oil companies, partners with Monsanto, defends toxic chemicals in food and consumer products, denies climate science and argues against laws that would curb the power of corporations.

IWF began in 1991 as an effort to defend now Supreme Court Justice (and former Monsanto attorney) Clarence Thomas as he faced sexual harassment charges. The group now says it seeks to "improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty."

Keep reading... Show less
Mladen Kostic / iStock

Toxic Toys? After Nine Years, a Ban on Harmful Chemicals Becomes Official

Phthalates are a particularly harmful type of chemical, used, among a range of other ways, to soften plastic in children's toys and products like pacifiers and teething rings. In response to mounting concern about the serious health impacts of phthalates—most notably, interference with hormone production and reproductive development in young children—Congress voted overwhelmingly in 2008 to outlaw the use of a few phthalates in these products and ordered the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to assess the use of other types of the chemical in these products. After much delay, the CPSC voted 3–2 Wednesday to ban five additional types of phthalates in kids' toys and childcare products.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox