Corporate take over of climate talks condemned


More than 135 groups internationally have condemned Poland and European Union for facilitating a corporate takeover of United Nations climate talks (COP19) that started October 11 in Warsaw.

The EU aims to expand carbon markets that would benefit big polluters at the UN climate talks, says a statement signed by more than 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 from their responsibility for climate crisis.

Tamra Gilbertson from Carbon Trade Watch said: “The European Commission and the carbon crooks who turn profits from the failing EU Emissions Trading Scheme [ETS] are pushing for a lifeline through linking up markets, foreshadowing a global carbon market.”

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 last year.

Belen Balanya from Corporate Europe Observatory said: “COP19 will be the most extreme case of corporate capture we have seen within the COP.

“The Polish government has granted partner status to 11 companies, among them climate culprits with horrendous track records ― such as ArcelorMittal, the biggest beneficiary from the EU ETS, and auto maker BMW ― who have been blocking the EU’s attempts to reduce emissions from cars for decades.”

The statement highlights the links between the Polish ministry 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 communique promoting coal as a solution to the climate crisis. Coal is one of the dirtiest energy sources, fuelling climate change.”

The Transnational Institute said, rather than consuming coal and fossil fuels, EU countries should enable a just transition to a post-fossil fuel society.

It said it was 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.

[Reprinted from Transnational Institute.]

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