Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Counting the lobbyists

Counting the lobbyists at the climate talksWhich lobbyists are inside the Copenhagen climate talks? Who's inside the climate talks?

There are thousands of business lobbyists at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, but the biggest group once again appears to be from the Angry Mermaid candidate, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).

IETA has 486 people in Copenhagen, including chief executive Henry Derwent and representatives from IETA member companies such as Gazprom, EON, CDC and another Angry Mermaid candidate Shell.

IETA had the largest non-government delegation at the UN climate talks in 2007 and 2008 - and clearly didn’t want to be crowded out in Copenhagen either.

Some of the other candidates for the Angry Mermaid Award appear among the 136 delegates representing the International Chamber of Commerce - including representatives from South African coal-to-liquid company Sasol and biotech giant Monsanto.

Shell is also represented in the delegations for the European Round Table of Industrialists (former chief exec Jeroen van der Veer is a delegate), the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The Round Table for Responsible Soy (nominated for the Angry Mermaid Award with Monsanto) has its own delegation here in Copenhagen - no doubt working alongside Monsanto to promote GM soy as a “climate-friendly” crop.

Angry Mermaid candidate the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is also present with 36 representatives, including British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh and IATA director Giovanni Bisignani.

The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) - also nominated for an Angry Mermaid - has 28 delegates in Copenhagen, including representatives from German chemical giant BASF, Dow Chemicals and Bayer.

With so many people trying to influence the talks, space inside the conference centre is going to be limited next week - perhaps the UNFCCC will limit the number of business lobbyists allowed in?

There are thousands of business lobbyists at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, but the biggest group once again appears to be from the Angry Mermaid candidate, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). IETA has 486 people in Copenhagen, including chief executive Henry Derwent and representatives from IETA member companies such as Gazprom, EON, CDC and another Angry Mermaid candidate Shell. IETA had the largest non-government delegation at the UN climate talks in 2007 and 2008 - and clearly didn’t want to be crowded out in Copenhagen either. Some of the other candidates for the Angry Mermaid Award appear among the 136 delegates representing the International Chamber of Commerce - including representatives from South African coal-to-liquid company Sasol and biotech giant Monsanto. Shell is also represented in the delegations for the European Round Table of Industrialists (former chief exec Jeroen van der Veer is a delegate), the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The Round Table for Responsible Soy (nominated for the Angry Mermaid Award with Monsanto) has its own delegation here in Copenhagen - no doubt working alongside Monsanto to promote GM soy as a “climate-friendly” crop. Angry Mermaid candidate the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is also present with 36 representatives, including British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh and IATA director Giovanni Bisignani. The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) - also nominated for an Angry Mermaid - has 28 delegates in Copenhagen, including representatives from German chemical giant BASF, Dow Chemicals and Bayer. With so many people trying to influence the talks, space inside the conference centre is going to be limited next week - perhaps the UNFCCC will limit the number of business lobbyists allowed in?
 

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