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:

 
The International Civil Aviation Organization is expected to agree a new climate deal at its current assembly meeting. But its promise of “carbon neutral” flying through voluntary carbon offsetting is delusive, posing new threats to the environment and communities.

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...

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) yesterday announced it will release the majority of the raw study data used in its toxicity assessment of glyphosate. This is a welcome step towards greater regulatory transparency.
The latest revelations about ‘Steelie’ Neelie Kroes show that, when it comes to ethics and transparency, the Commission is complaisant about conflicts of interest and far too relaxed about the risk of corporate capture.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) told CEO today, and publicly announced on their website, that they would disclose most of the raw data of studies on glyphosate used in the EU's toxicity assessment of glyphosate.
In an attempt to fix its public image, Dieselgate-shaken Volkswagen names former EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard as member of its new ‘Sustainability Council’. Although the role is unpaid, it is highly questionable whether Volkswagen is actually committed to making up for its previous foul play.
 
 
 
 
 
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