Saturday November 28, 2015
By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday November 28, 2015
Paris climate talks: powerful business lobbies seek to undermine deal
As the UN’s climate talks in Paris begin, the lobbying and public relations push from some of the biggest corporations responsible for climate change has gone into overdrive. What are the messages they’re so keen to spread, and what will they mean for the COP21 conference – and for the climate?
A recent report from the NGO Corporate Europe Observatory reveals that what’s on offer at COP21 is nothing short of a climate catastrophe, a guaranteed recipe to cook the planet. But rather than sending the dish back, political leaders have asked for seconds, bringing the very companies responsible for the problem ever closer into the UN fold.
James Bacchus, a trade expert at the International Chamber of Commerce, says: “This issue is important for governments to address but it is far too important to leave to governments alone.”
Fortunately for Bacchus, the UN agrees. The problem, however, is that is has also succeeded in creating several platforms to ensure business-friendly proposals are at the heart of climate policy-making, rather than vice versa. New markets, experimental technologies, all endorsed so polluters don’t have to change their business models.
The UN’s climate chief, Christiana Figueres – who before taking up her post was principal climate change advisor to Latin America’s leading energy utility, Endesa – has even told the world to “stop demonising oil and gas companies”. (Continued: The Guardian)