Major sponsors of the ongoing 21st Conference of Parties are collectively responsible for over 200 mega tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and 46 coal powered factories, revealed the Corporate Accountability International (CAI), a body working to check major climate violations by transnational and multinational corporations in the world. “This is nothing but an inherent conflict of interest,” said Tamar Lawrence Samuel, official of CAI.
Exposing a major contradiction in the climate change meet which attempts to bring world leaders together for a strong agreement to keep the global temperatures less than the 2 degree mark, the research body said sponsors of the event were influencing the policy by the access they were getting to policy makers through their funding of the event.’greenwashing’ where corporations which are contributing massively to climate change are seen to be bankrolling the talks,” said the official of CAI.
“The presence of non-players [corporations] in the negotiations give these large corporations a privileged access,” said Asad Rehman from Friends of the Earth, a civil society organisation which has made a report on the influence of corporates on climate negotiations. “What we are seeing are countervailing forces and fulfilment of the vested interests of dirty energy corporations,” he added.
Highlighting the influence that multinationals and trans nationals wield over climate policy making, the official added that besides washing their hands off responsibility towards the environment, the “real danger” was that the effect on both national and international level climate policies that these corporations are having.
Citing an example from the report, ‘Fuelling the Fire’, Samuel said that Senators in the US Congress were found to be paid seven times more by oil and gas companies to deny the science of climate change.
Oliver Hoedeman from the Corporate Europe Observatory said it was this lobbying of the major trade corporations which was responsible for a weak willed climate and energy target of the European Union. “The target is too unambitious to prevent a two degree change,” Hoedeman said.
The experts have accordingly pointed out the need for the UNFCCC to recognise and bring about a law to identify the conflict of interests. “The UNFCCC can learn from the WHO which has established a law to identify and mitigate any possible conflict of interest,” said Samuel.