The Corporate Cookbook
How climate criminals have captured COP21
You would be forgiven for believing that the corporate world has had a change of heart and is now sticking to a strictly climate-friendly diet. Embracing low-carbon natural gas, a global carbon price, ‘net-zero emissions by the end of the century’ or ‘climate-smart agriculture’ are top of the menu. But peel back the PR and you reveal a business-as-usual recipe guaranteed to cook the planet: market fundamentalism, pie-in-the-sky techno solutions and some good old fashioned rebranding of discredited ideas are the perfect ingredients for any corporate climate criminal. But rather than sending the dish back, our political leaders have asked for seconds. This briefing shows just when, where and how corporations are trying to capture the agenda of this winters UN climate talks in Paris, COP 21.
Peeling back the PR reveals that the dish that's on offer is nothing short of a climate catastrophe. Big business is writing a recipe guaranteed to cook the planet:
- We can’t choose the best ingredients—maximum economic growth and a ‘better’ fossil fuel (natural gas) must be included. Conflicting measures such as restrictions on dirty fuel imports must be left out
- We can’t control the cooking process—market signals, not regulators, will guide the way
- It’s the same old business-as-usual recipe dressed up as ‘cordon verte’—they want to appear green, but industry’s agenda is to keep on emitting greenhouse gases and have them ‘sucked’ out of the atmosphere with pie-in-the-sky new technologies instead
- In some cases it’s just yesterday’s left overs dressed up as a new meal—with industrial agriculture being re-branded as 'climate smart' for example
The market-based and techno-fix solutions on the table are diverting attention from the real culprits and delaying real action. Most political leaders have been happy to choose measures that suit existing business models and continued corporate profit-making. We need a different cookbook! And different cooks, for that matter.
At this point in time there’s little prospect of the deal that’s being cooked up in Paris delivering anything for the climate. But it could still be an important turning point in terms of de-legitimising the dangerous and destructive role that corporate climate criminals are currently playing in climate policy-making. Let’s clean up our kitchens, both in Paris and in our capitals!
“Obviously the climate’s important – but the economy comes first”
“Fear not, natural gas will save the climate”
“If only we had a global carbon price, big business would change its ways”
“We’ll reach ‘net-zero’ emissions this century, if someone can just suck out of the atmosphere what we put in”
“Industrial agriculture isn’t the cause of climate change, it’s climate smart – and we’ve got a voluntary scheme to promote it”