Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Cooking the planet

Big Energy's year of privileged access to Europe's climate commissioners

One year on from the appointment of Cañete and Šefčovič, Corporate Europe Observatory takes a look at who the commissioners responsible for climate and energy policies are meeting, and finds Big Energy dominating the agenda.

Cooking the planet since 2014
Cooking the planet since 2014

According to data extracted from the Commission itself, 80 per cent of the meetings of European Commissioners Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate and Energy, and Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for the Energy Union, were with the private sector. Big Energy dominated, including many of those companies most responsible for cooking the climate: in the last year, three quarters of the encounters with the energy industry to discuss climate and energy policies were with fossil fuel companies.

This privileged access is reflected in the Commission’s policies, from the direction of the Energy Union as it locks in fossil fuel infrastructure, to the watering down of the EU’s climate ambitions. Yet climate science confirms that we need to leave at least 80 per cent of fossil fuels in the ground in order to avoid runaway climate change. The window of opportunity for preventing climate catastrophe is in the next ten years, and it can only be avoided by drastically cutting emissions, increasing real renewables, and dramatically improving energy efficiency. A year into this Commission, we are going in the opposite direction.

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A new report on carbon market reform has kicked off debate on the issue in the European Parliament. It promises new loopholes for the oil industry and other polluters.

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 rare glimpse into the lobbying strategies of the car industry.

Biodiversity collapse, the future of agriculture, politics versus science, EU States and the European Commission shifting blame on each other, industry's capture of the regulatory process through data secrecy, a Commissioner caught between Juncker, EU States, lobby groups, and his own services... The glyphosate saga, coming to an end this week with the European Commission's decision to extend its licence, has been an entry point into many broader problems. Overview.

The official EU assessment of glyphosate was based on unpublished studies owned by industry. Seven months later, the pesticide industry still fights disclosure and, so far, successfully. We obtained a copy of their arguments.

While CEO is not taking a position on the UK referendum, many of our publications are relevant to those who will have a vote, or those who are following the debate.

The current struggle in France over labour law reforms is not just between the Government and trade unions – a European battle is waged. The attacks on social rights stem in no small part from the web of EU-rules dubbed 'economic governance', invented to impose austerity policies on member states.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour