In a speech in Davos, South African President Jacob Zuma, host of the international climate talks scheduled to take place in Durban later this year, urged business to be a party at the talks and play a bigger role. His comments will have been welcomed by business leaders, particularly the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) who have long campaigned for greater involvement.
The Mexican government, which hosted the most recent climate summit in Cancún, helped to develop closer business-government relations in 2010 with the ‘Mexican Dialogues’. Through the Mexican dialogues, big business targeted issues of particular interest, such as carbon markets, financing and technology. Business lobbyists were given privileged access to key negotiators on these issues, and pushed for an enhanced role for business. Zuma’s intention to follow in these steps risks a greater corporate capture of these crucial areas, at the expense of the climate and the people.
This article looks at the WBCSD and ICC's campaign for greater involvement - and at what this could mean for the future of the international climate talks.
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