Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Cancún to Durban: lobbying for business

In a speech in Davos, South African President Jacob Zuma, host of the international climate talks scheduled to take place in Durban later this year, urged business to be a party at the talks and play a bigger role. His comments will have been welcomed by business leaders, particularly the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) who have long campaigned for greater involvement.

The Mexican government, which hosted the most recent climate summit in Cancún, helped to develop closer business-government relations in 2010 with the ‘Mexican Dialogues’. Through the Mexican dialogues, big business targeted issues of particular interest, such as carbon markets, financing and technology. Business lobbyists were given privileged access to key negotiators on these issues, and pushed for an enhanced role for business. Zuma’s intention to follow in these steps risks a greater corporate capture of these crucial areas, at the expense of the climate and the people.

This article looks at the WBCSD and ICC's campaign for greater involvement - and at what this could mean for the future of the international climate talks.

Read the full article here:

 

It's almost six months since EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete claimed to have negotiated an historic global deal to tackle climate change at COP21in Paris. The 3 May also marked a year and a half of Cañete being in the job. However, he and his his boss, Vice President of the Commission Maros Šefčovič, continue to give privileged access to fossil fuel players trashing the climate, who have enjoyed eight meetings to every one involving renewable energy or energy efficiency interests since the Paris deal was signed. Rather than a change of direction, it's business as usual for the European Commission following the Paris Agreement, which is great news for Big Energy but a disaster for those serious about tackling climate change.

In the middle of May over 4000 people from all over Europe gathered in the Lusatia region in Eastern Germany. The plan? To block a Vattenfall-owned opencast lignite mine.

In light of the ITRE Opinion and forthcoming discussion on the proposed Directive to reform the Emissions Trading System (and “enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments”), CEO offers comments. 

Ultimately, revisions of this sort are nowhere near enough. The new ETS Directive requires some "damage limitation." But it is also a time to reflect on the need to move beyond emissions trading at the heart of EU climate policy. There are many ways to achieve this: http://corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/2014/01/life-beyond-emissi...

A revised Emissions Trading Directive is like red meat for the hungry pack of lobbyists that work the corridors of Brussels’ political institutions. Even minor differences in how pollution permits are handed out can result in profits or savings of millions of euros to big polluters.

Ahead of the Commission's proposal for a new ‘mandatory’ lobby transparency register, CEO takes a look at the summary of the public consultation on the subject: civil society's call for better transparency systems faces the spin of corporate lobby groups and trade associations, which appear to promote transparency values but recommend limited implementation, loopholes and toothless management.

CEO's reaction to the the Bahamas leaks, which revealed ex-EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes' offshore links.

The European Commission's upcoming regulation proposal for acrylamide, a dangerous contaminant formed in many starchy foods when cooked at high temperatures, relies on codes of best practices developed by food industry lobby groups.

A new report on the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) reveals how the trade deal could make EU member states vulnerable to costly lawsuits from North American investors that threaten public interest.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour