EU and big polluters ignore climate action - pushing to expand carbon markets at COP19

Brussels, 7th November 2013

The EU aims to expand carbon markets that would benefit big polluters at the UN climate talks, COP19 in Poland, says a Statement signed by 135+ groups, movements and networks from all over the world. The Statement denounces the corporate capture of COP19 by the same companies that stand to profit.

“The European Commission and the carbon crooks who turn profits from the failing EU ETS are pushing for a lifeline through linking up markets, foreshadowing a global carbon market,” stated Tamra Gilbertson from Carbon Trade Watch.1

COP19 partners, explains the statement, include Polish energy group PGE, whose Belchatow coal-fired plant was the biggest polluter and the biggest recipient of free allowances in 2012.2 “ COP19 will be the most extreme case of corporate capture we have seen within the COP,” according to Belén Balanyá from Corporate Europe Observatory, “The Polish government has granted partner status to eleven companies, among them climate culprits with horrendous track records – such as ArcelorMittal, the biggest beneficiary from the EU ETS, and auto maker BMW – who are blocking EU's attempts to reduce emissions from cars for decades.”

The statement highlights the links between the Polish Ministery of Economy and the coal industry, who are organising a Coal and Climate Summit in parallel to the climate talks. “The cooperation between the coal industry and the Polish government is blatant” says Maxime Combes from Attac France, “they have drafted a communiqué promoting coal as a solution to the climate crisis. Coal is one of the dirtiest energy sources, fuelling climate change.” Rather than consuming coal and fossil fuels, EU countries should enable a just transition to a post-fossil fuel society. It is time to scrap the ETS and other attempts to commodify nature, time to leave fossil fuels and minerals in the ground, and time to start a real transition towards just and people-driven alternatives.

For more information contact

  • Tamra Gilbertson, Carbon Trade Watch (Spain 0034 625498083)
  • Maxime Combes, Attac France, (France, 0033 624512944)
  • Belén Balanyá, Corporate Europe Observatory (Netherlands 0031 633090386)
  • Lyda Fernanda Forero, Transnational Institute (Netherlands 0031 685086340)

List of signatories

4D (France); Acción por la Biodiversidad (Argentina); Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network – AEFJN;AFRICANDO, Gran Canaria (Spain); Agir pour l'environnement (France); Aitec-Ipam (France); Aliança RECOs – Redes de Cooperação Comunitária Sem Fronteiras (Brazil); Alianza por la Solidaridad- APS (Spain); Amigos de la Tierra España – Friends of the Earth Spain; Amigos de la Tierra America Latina y Caribe – ATALC; Amis de la Terre France – Friends of the Earth France; Área de Justicia y Solidaridad de CONFER - Conferencia Española de Religiosos (Spain); Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras - AMB (Brazil); ASC - Alianza Social Continental; All India Forum of Forest Movements - AIFFM (India); Alyansa Tigil Mina - ATM (Philippines); Amigos da Terra Brasil, Friends of the Earth Brazil; ARA- Working Group on Rainforestst and Biodiversity (Germany); Asociación Ecologista Río Mocoreta (Argentina); Association Romania Without Them (Romania); Association Stop au gaz de schiste-Non al gas d'esquist 47 (France); Association taca (France); Attac Austria; Attac France; Attac Germany; Bharatiya Krishak Samaj, New Delhi (India); BI für ein lebenswertes Korbach; Biofuelwatch (UK/USA); Bizi ! - mouvement urgence climatique justice sociale du Pays Basque; Boletín GAL (Chile); Both ENDS, Amsterdam (The Netherlands); Brigada Cimarrona Sebastian Lemba (Dominican Republic); Carbon Trade Watch; CEIBA – Amigos de la Tierra Guatemala; CEEweb for Biodiversity; Centre de Recherche et d'Information pour le Développement – CRID (France); Centre for Civil Society (Durban, South Africa); Center for Environment (Bosnia and Herzegovina); Centro De Referência Do Movimento Da Cidadania Pelas Águas Florestas E Montanhas Iguassu Iterei (Brazil);CESTA- Amigos de la Tierra Salvador; Climate & Energy Group, Beyond Copenhagen collective -BCPH (India); COECOCEIBA - Amigos de la Tierra Costa Rica; Colectivo Revuelta Verde (Mexico); Collectif 07 Stop au Gaz et Huiles de Schiste (France); Collectif ALDEAH (France); Collectif Basta! Gaz Alès (France); Collectif Briard 77 (France); Collectif Causse Méjean – Gaz de schiste NON! (France); Collectif citoyen Ile-de-France non aux gaz et pétrole de schiste (France); Collectif "gaz de schiste non merci" de Clapiers (France); Collectif "non gaz de schiste Florac (France); Collectif Pays Cigalois non aux gaz et pétrole de schiste (France); Collectif Stop gaz de schiste Anduze 30 (France); Confédération paysanne (France); Coordination eau Ile-de-France (France); Corner House (UK); Corporación Ambiental, Ecológica y Sanitaria (Colombia); Corporate Europe Observatory; Counter Balance; Earthlife Africa; Eastern and Southern Africa small-scale Farmers Forum - ESAFF (Zambia); ECA Watch Austria (Austria); Ecologistas en Acción (Spain); Econexus (UK); Ejecutor de Contrato de Administración de la Reserva Comunal Amarakaeri – ECA-RCA (Peru); European Water Movement; FERN; FOCO -Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos (Argentina); Focus on the Global South; Fondation Copernic (France); Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (France); Forest Peoples Programme; Food & Water Europe; Food & Water Watch; France Libertés (France); Friends of the Earth Flanders and Brussels; Friends of the Earth International; Friends of the Earth Mauritius; Friends of the Earth Sweden; Friends of the Siberian Forests (Russia); Fundación Centro de Estudios Ecológicos de la República Argentina -FUCEERA (Argentina); GAIA - Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives; Générations Futures (France); Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change Against REDD; Global Forest Coalition; Global Justice Ecology Project; GRAIN; Gram Bharati Samiti -GBS, Jaipur (India); Hegoa - Instituto de Estudios sobe Desarrollo y Cooperación Internacional del País Vasco; IBON International - Peoples' Movement on Climate Change; ILLA Centro de Educación y Comunicación (Peru); Indigenous Environmental Network; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minneapolis (USA); Instituto de Ecología Política (Chile); International Oil Working Group; Iterei- Refúgio Particular De Animais Nativos (Brazil); Justiça Ambiental – Friends of the Earth Mozambique; Klimaat en Sociale Rechtvaardigheid -Climat et Justice Sociale (Belgium); Klimagerechtigkeit Leipzig, (Germany); Latinamerikagrupperna (Sweden); Movimento Mulheres pela P@Z! (Brazil); National Adivasi Alliance (India); New York Climate Action Group (USA); No REDD in Africa Network – NRAN; Observatori del Deute en la Globalització - ODG – Debtwatch (Catalunya); Observatorio de Empresas Transnacionales -OET- del Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos -FOCO / INPADE (Argentina); Occupy.Poland; Oilwatch Latin America; Otros Mundos AC/Amigos de la Tierra México; Pan-African Club (Zimbabwe); Philippine Movement for Climate Justice – PMCJ (Philippines); Platform (UK); Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD); Polaris Institute (Canada); PRRM - Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (Philippines); Push Europe; Quantic Association (Romania); Re:Common (Italy); REDD-Monitor; Réseau sortir du nucléaire (France); RETS: Respuestas a las Transnacionales, Barcelona (Catalunya); Ritimo (France); Romania Without Fracking Action Group (Romania); School of Democratic Economics (Indonesia); SOLdePaz.Pachakuti (Spain); SÜDWIND (Austria); Terræ Organização da Sociedade Civil (Brazil); Timberwatch Coalition (South Africa); Transnational Institute (TNI); Union syndicale Solidaires (France); United Kingdom Without Incineration Network - UKWIN (UK); Urgewald (Germany); vzw Climaxi (Belgium); WALHI/Friends of the Earth Indonesia; World Development Movement (UK); WRM - World Rainforest Movement; XminusY Solidarity Fund (Netherlands)

  • 1. Discussions on the Framework for Various Approaches (FVA) would be the first step towards allowing the trading of permits from different emissions trading schemes (dangerously including permits created outside of the UNFCCC) to be used for compliance with targets under the Convention. Many industrialised countries see this as a paving stone to a global carbon market.
  • 2. “EU ETS emissions dropped by 1.4% in 2012”, ENDS Europe, 2 April 2013,

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