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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Corporate Accountability, Friends of the Earth score COP27 low

Tangible progress was not made in checkmating industry distraction and delay of the climate negotiations in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, climate justice groups that attended the meeting have said.

Meena Raman
Meena Raman of Friends of the Earth Malaysia

While Corporate Accountability insists that industry lobbyists dominated the list of sponsors of the negotiations, Friends of the Earth International, in a press briefing on November18, 2022, said the most important demand of developing countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis such as loss and damage was still in limbo.

Meena Raman of Friends of the Earth Malaysia said that developed countries led by the United States still failed to take responsibility for their historical role in the global climate crisis which has caused devastations in Africa and other Global South countries.

She noted that it was hypocrisy, for instance, for Germany to return to coal projects that it had planned to phase out after Russia cut off gas to Europe in the wake of the sanctions imposed on her by the European Union (EU), just like the US dilly dally on the Loss and Damage Finance.

On the new dimensions of the industry lobby at the COP27, an analysis by Corporate Accountability and Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO),18 out of 20 of the sponsors of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) directly support or partner with the fossil fuel industry.

The talks that have already been mired by revelations of corporate interference and influence, such as the COP Presidency retaining a notable PR firm for Big Oil and the presence of more than 636 fossil fuel lobbyists.

Though sponsorship by the world’s top plastic polluter for five years running, Coca-Cola, has already received extensive scrutiny, other sponsors raise similar questions about the integrity of these negotiations.

Among this year’s sponsors are banks that directly finance the fossil fuel industry such as Afreximbank and Mashreq. There are corporations that build and operate gas-fired power plants like Orascom Construction and Siemens. There are also tech and communications corporations including Cisco, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Vodafone that provide a range of services for the fossil fuel industry.

“As if it weren’t bad enough that lobbyists for corporations like Shell, BP, and Chevron were walking the halls of COP27. Now the revelation is that the entire conference is being bankrolled by corporations with close industry ties. After 30 years of allowing polluters to upend progress, governments need to finally put an end to the madness and kick big polluters out,” said Pascoe Sabido, a researcher and campaigner for CEO.

Corporations shouldn’t sponsor climate talks, let alone support the deadly agenda of those with ties to the very industry responsible for the climate crisis. Making the primary global forum for averting climate catastrophe a greenwashing platform for polluters undermines the UNFCCC and all its aspirations. This isn’t a trade show, it’s our near final chance to save millions of lives and ensure a livable planet for all,” said Rachel Rose Jackson, director of climate research and policy at Corporate Accountability.

PR by a firm that shills for the fossil fuel industry? More fossil fuel lobbyists than the combined delegations of 15 African countries combined? A who’s who of polluters, fossil fuel financiers, and industry enablers bankrolling the COP? To a malaria conference, you don’t invite the mosquitos,” said Philip Jakpor, Director of Programmes, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa.

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