Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Poluters in Peru
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Closing words from COP20: Time to Take Power from the Polluters

As the UN climate talks – COP20 – wrap up in Lima, CEO took part in a press conference to reflect on what two weeks of negotiations mean for climate justice and the road to Paris. Organised by the Institute of Climate Action and Theory, CEO was joined by with Michael Dorsey (board member of Sierra Club) and Jagoda Munic (Chair of Friends of the Earth International).

[CEO speaks for five minutes at 15:15 - http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop20/events/2014-12-12-15-30-university-of-california-what-now-for-climate-justice-assessing-lima-s-outcomes-identifying-social-movement-strategies-for-paris]

  • What's on the table only deepens the climate crisis: it does nothing for those already being affected by climate change, like in the Philippines, or those who will be affected in the future, i.e. all of us.

  • Rich countries and their dirty industries are setting the agenda: Like in Warsaw, the voices of polluters are drowning out the voices of real people and communities on the front line. Instead of an energy transformation the message appears to be fossil fuels full steam ahead.

  • The world needs real solutions, but Lima has failed them: the deal allows in false solutions like carbon capture and storage (CCS) and failed carbon market, aimed at allowing the biggest historical polluters a way out of cutting emissions and continuing with business as usual.

  • The presence of dirty energy was challenged inside and out of COP20: as well as Shell being invited to speak about CCS alongside the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, they – along with Chevron and others – sponsored side events inside the negotiations, but youth staged an action and disrupted the event. At the corporate World Climate Summit, hundreds of protestors went to blockade the hotel hosting it.

  • Dirty energy has done most of its work before getting here: CCS and carbon markets aren't the result of a few side events, but concerted and aggressive lobbying at national level before arriving at the negotiations. That's why Canada is pushing CCS and the EU is pushing carbon markets.

  • Corporations want more influence: despite the UNFCCC stating that they're doing their upmost to include business in negotiations (e.g. a business-only pre-COP in Warsaw), they want to have equal status as countries i.e. write the deal themselves!

  • We need to kick them out of the COP and our governments: if we're serious about tackling climate change, those driving the climate crisis have no place at the negotiating table and no place anywhere near our national governments.

If COP20 is supposed laying the road to Paris, then here in Lima dirty energy industry has taken control of the steering wheel and is driving us off a climate cliff. But through building our power by linking across our movements at national, regional and international level, we can reclaim the wheel and steer the world towards the real, bottom-up solutions that are already out there.

Primary issue: 
[CEO speaks for five minutes at 15:15 - http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop20/events/2014-12-12-15-30-university-of-california-what-now-for-climate-justice-assessing-lima-s-outcomes-identifying-social-movement-strategies-for-paris]What's on the table only deepens the climate crisis: it does nothing for those already being affected by climate change, like in the Philippines, or those who will be affected in the future, i.e. all of us.Rich countries and their dirty industries are setting the agenda: Like in Warsaw, the voices of polluters are drowning out the voices of real people and communities on the front line. Instead of an energy transformation the message appears to be fossil fuels full steam ahead.The world needs real solutions, but Lima has failed them: the deal allows in false solutions like carbon capture and storage (CCS) and failed carbon market, aimed at allowing the biggest historical polluters a way out of cutting emissions and continuing with business as usual.The presence of dirty energy was challenged inside and out of COP20: as well as Shell being invited to speak about CCS alongside the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, they – along with Chevron and others – sponsored side events inside the negotiations, but youth staged an action and disrupted the event. At the corporate World Climate Summit, hundreds of protestors went to blockade the hotel hosting it.Dirty energy has done most of its work before getting here: CCS and carbon markets aren't the result of a few side events, but concerted and aggressive lobbying at national level before arriving at the negotiations. That's why Canada is pushing CCS and the EU is pushing carbon markets.Corporations want more influence: despite the UNFCCC stating that they're doing their upmost to include business in negotiations (e.g. a business-only pre-COP in Warsaw), they want to have equal status as countries i.e. write the deal themselves!We need to kick them out of the COP and our governments: if we're serious about tackling climate change, those driving the climate crisis have no place at the negotiating table and no place anywhere near our national governments.If COP20 is supposed laying the road to Paris, then here in Lima dirty energy industry has taken control of the steering wheel and is driving us off a climate cliff. But through building our power by linking across our movements at national, regional and international level, we can reclaim the wheel and steer the world towards the real, bottom-up solutions that are already out there.
 

It's almost six months since EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete claimed to have negotiated an historic global deal to tackle climate change at COP21in Paris. The 3 May also marked a year and a half of Cañete being in the job. However, he and his his boss, Vice President of the Commission Maros Šefčovič, continue to give privileged access to fossil fuel players trashing the climate, who have enjoyed eight meetings to every one involving renewable energy or energy efficiency interests since the Paris deal was signed. Rather than a change of direction, it's business as usual for the European Commission following the Paris Agreement, which is great news for Big Energy but a disaster for those serious about tackling climate change.

In the middle of May over 4000 people from all over Europe gathered in the Lusatia region in Eastern Germany. The plan? To block a Vattenfall-owned opencast lignite mine.

In light of the ITRE Opinion and forthcoming discussion on the proposed Directive to reform the Emissions Trading System (and “enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments”), CEO offers comments. 

Ultimately, revisions of this sort are nowhere near enough. The new ETS Directive requires some "damage limitation." But it is also a time to reflect on the need to move beyond emissions trading at the heart of EU climate policy. There are many ways to achieve this: http://corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/2014/01/life-beyond-emissi...

A revised Emissions Trading Directive is like red meat for the hungry pack of lobbyists that work the corridors of Brussels’ political institutions. Even minor differences in how pollution permits are handed out can result in profits or savings of millions of euros to big polluters.

A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

José Manuel Barroso's move to Goldman Sachs has catapulted the EU’s revolving door problem onto the political agenda. It is symbolic of the excessive corporate influence at the highest levels of the EU.

Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth and LobbyControl today wrote to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, calling on him to investigate Angelika Nieber MEP over a possible conflict of interest.

CEO presents some first reflections on the UK's vote for Brexit.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour