The Carbon Pollution Profiteers Have Taken Over The Climate Summit
The Climate Summit, COP19, being held in Poland has been taken over by the very industries that profit from the carbon-based economy. Democracy Now! reported that these industries are actually the sponsors of the summit. They report that the industries that are sponsoring the meeting include “major car manufacturers, oil companies, steel manufacturers and coal firms. Meanwhile, the Polish Ministry of Economy has teamed up with the World Coal Association to put on a parallel ‘International Coal & Climate Summit,’ also in Warsaw.” Below is a report from the Corporate Europe Observatory which describes how these polluting profiteers are putting forward false solutions that allow them to continue to pollute, profit and increase the risks of climate change.
Diary of a Corporate COP: how polluting industry is presenting its false solutions at COP19
BusinessEurope, the European Commission and the Polish fossil lobby
The beginning of week one of COP19’s corporate party brought an official side event inside the COP, on 12 November, called ‘Low Emission Poland? Yes we (do) care!’ It was organised by Forum of Gas and Electricity Receivers (yes, a massive gas and fossil fuel lobby), Forum CO2 (a Polish business and heavy industry club) and the Polish Ministry of Environment (the host of the climate talks and better known as the ministry of coal). The event attempted to portray the Polish government, ahem, as a friend of the climate. Present was not only the European Commission’s Hans Bergman, from DG CLIMA, but none other than the European employer’s federation BusinessEurope’s very own Nick Campbell. Who – as you can read about in our COP19 lobby guide – is the head of notorious climate-action blockers BusinessEurope’s climate change working group. Oh, and he works for chemicals giant Arkema. And did we mention that he used to simultaneously chair the climate group of chemicals lobby CEFIC and the Climate Change Task Force of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)? All of which lobby for false solutions to climate change: unjust and ineffective carbon markets that make the rich polluters richer and no less dirty; unconventional fossil fuels like environmentally and socially destructive shale gas; against binding or ambitious targets and mechanisms on emissions reductions or energy savings; and, of course, for the protection of their monopolies through intellectual property rights.
Center for European Policy Studies’ pushes for more markets
Later the same day another official COP19 side event in the Warsaw stadium, this time organised by prominent Brussels think tank the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS), which, if you read our lobby guide (‘COP19 Policy Debates: The push for expanding markets’ box) you’ll discover is the architect behind the EU’s position on carbon markets. So it was again no surprise that their discussion “The role of the Framework for Various Approaches (FVA) in the 2015 international agreement” was not so much about various approaches, but was dominated by markets, markets and more markets. The FVA is a proposal for a set of non-market and market approaches to climate mitigation, but which could pave the way to a global carbon market by enabling trading between different emission trading schemes, developed with different rules, outside of the UNFCCC. CEPS’ event explained that it was thanks to the EU’s example (of an emissions-useless, but business-profitable) ETS, that lots of countries are now thinking of how carbon markets could effectively(!!) and efficiently(!!!) reduce their emissions. This business-interest steered propaganda however ignores all the evidence from carbon markets’ track record, and pushes a model that is antithetical to the climate debt owed by the rich to those people and countries who did least to cause the problem but are most affected by it. And which attempts to put a price on, and profit from, ecological services such as carbon sequestration. Leading to the privatisation of the atmosphere – a common good (See ‘Carbon Markets’ box in our lobby guide for more details).
Meanwhile, at the Warsaw Stock Exchange…
Chemicals industry CEFIC spins tale for unconventional fossil fuels and CCS
From the Warsaw Stock Exchange back to the COP19 venue for a chemical industry propaganda show. An official side event hosted by CEFIC and ICCA (the European and International chemical industry associations) – with a little help from Dow Chemical (remember Bhopal, anybody?) – entitled “Accelerating Climate Solutions: Technology & Policy Options for Reducing Energy Use & GHG Emissions”. The event told attendees of our international climate talks that we need cheap energy and carbon, in a broad energy portfolio which includes nuclear energy (with its unacceptable risks and wastes) and “game-changer technologies” like Carbon Capture Storage (i.e. new coal power with the hope that an as yet unproven technology not expected to be commercial until 2030, if at all, will keep CO2 emissions underground) in order to stay within 2 degrees temperature rise. With a lot of focus on energy efficient and low energy buildings (a very important part of reducing energy consumption) the chemicals industry did a very nice job of appearing to be a climate friend – when their business model and lobbying record – including pushing for shale gas, intellectual property and against recognition of historical responsibility, which would distort competition – show them very clearly to be a climate foe. (See CEFIC entry in the lobby guide).