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Anglo American's Dirty Energy Lobby and its False Climate Solutions

A new report by CEO, Friends of the Earth International and the Transnational Institute released in Lima during the UN climate talks reveals how multinational corporations such as Anglo American undermine crucial climate policies and promote false solutions, which allow them to profit from the climate crisis [1]

The activities of mining giant Anglo American are examined in the new report, which focuses on one of the world's biggest open-pit coal mine El Cerrejón, in La Guajira, Colombia. British-South African company Anglo American is one of its three shareholders.

Anglo American profits from false solutions to the climate crisis such as carbon trading and carbon capture and storage, which benefit big business but not people or the planet, according to the report released by Friends of the Earth International, Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute.

Anglo American continues to expand its climate-wrecking dirty business model while using green funds, offset mechanisms and dodgy techno-fixes to present a green image, according to the report 'Anglo American's dirty energy lobby and its false climate solutions' which was released at the 'Peoples Summit against Climate Change' in Lima. [2]

Pascoe Sabido from the Corporate Europe Observatory said:

“Anglo American has aggressively lobbied against subsidies for renewables because it favors dirty energies such as coal and shale gas. Combined with the privileged access to decision makers enjoyed by Anglo and its lobby groups, it is no wonder we are light-years from a fair and ambitious UN climate treaty. Co-hosting cocktail parties with our governments is one of the many ways corporate polluters such as Anglo American lobby for their false solutions to the climate crisis. Unfortunately for people and the planet, our governments are paying attention to these corporate polluters and implementing their false solutions.”

Lyda Forero from the Transnational Institute said:

“Mining in El Cerrejón has brought land grabbing, dispossession and water scarcity to la Guajira in Colombia, and has been denounced by indigenous, peasant, and Afro-Colombian communities. El Cerrejón exports all the coal extracted while leaving behind human and environmental rights violations.”

Lucia Ortiz, Friends of the Earth International economic justice coordinator, said:

“The interests of corporations such as Anglo American clearly come before the people's interests at the climate talks and this is outrageous. Anglo American is well known for the massive impacts of its unsustainable mining operations. Decision makers should listen to the people, not to corporate polluters.”

There are solutions to the climate crisis. They include steep reductions in carbon emissions, stopping fossil fuel extraction and deforestation, building sustainable, community-based energy solutions and transforming our food systems.

These solutions are being discussed at the Peoples Summit in Lima [2] which is attended by social movements and activists from around the world, including Friends of the Earth International, Corporate Europe Observatory and Transnational Institute. They are joining environmental defenders and social movements from Peru and worldwide at the World March in defense of Mother Earth in Lima on December 10th, Human Rights Day.

[1] The report, “Anglo American's dirty energy lobby and its false climate solutions” is available IN ENGLISH

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Stop ISDS campaign 2019

Today, more than 60 international, European and national civil society groups have called on European decision makers to uphold the Paris Agreement and not mandate new trade negotiations with the USA.

Coal garnered much media attention, thanks to the Polish Government and US President Trump’s support. But it was the gas industry that really stunk up the conference, its influence seeping into all corners of the negotiating halls. Luckily activists and communities were present to call industry out and demand real solutions.

The slogan of this year's climate talks is “black to green” -  appropriate, given the dirty energy companies that are bankrolling the conference. While the sponsors hide behind green branding, their core business models depend on coal, oil and gas, and are therefore absolutely incompatible with the Paris Agreement, let alone a planet still habitable in the future.

Concerns about corporate co-option at the upcoming climate meeting COP24 in Poland are growing as the sponsors are revealed. Many are dirty energy companies, among them several from Poland's state-owned coal industry. A repeat of the 2013 COP at which the Polish presidency allowed coal and gas privileged access to the meeting? It looks likely.

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