Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Emission trading questioned at EU debate

The EU's emissions trading system has fundamental flaws and is failing to deliver the carbon cuts needed, campaigners told a debate in Brussels (Tuesday) ahead of the start of UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa.

And an MEP warned the debate that industry lobbying was damaging the EU's position on climate change, accusing BusinessEurope of failing to represent the views of its members who are calling for tougher targets.

Bas Eickhout MEP (Green) told the debate, organised by Corporate Europe Observatory, TNI, Friends of the Earth Europe and FERN, that BusinessEurope claimed to speak on behalf of European industry but in fact represented the lowest common denominator position, effectively silencing those companies which support a 30% cut in CO2 emissions by 2020.

Oscar Reyes from Carbon Trade Watch told the debate that carbon trading system failed to require countries to take responsibility for their own emissions, allowing them to offset them by buying permits from the developing world.

He said what was needed was a change in climate finance, shifting subsidies away from fossil fuels and investing in infrastructre, non-fiscal measures, as well as a complete  transformation politically.

Damian Meadows, the Head of Unit for International Carbon Markets at DG Climate Action, said that carbon trading must not be seen as a sole solution, but putting a price on carbon was an important component.

And he defended the EU's position ahead of the Durban climate talks, saying the EU wanted a multilateral agreement – but increasing the EU's target unilaterally would not deliver action from the United States or China.

“We need broad commitments, we need a clear roadmap from Durban,” he sid.

Esther Bollendorff from Friends of the Earth Europe told the debate that the European Union must face up to its historical responsibilities by taking action first, but that it was also in the interest of European industry.

“It's in our own interest for Europe to take action to cut emissions at home, so we cannot support the Commission position to only take action if others do too,” she said.

See Bas Eickhout MEP's comments on industry lobbying on climate change here: http://vimeo.com/32621584 

The EU's emissions trading system has fundamental flaws and is failing to deliver the carbon cuts needed, campaigners told a debate in Brussels (Tuesday) ahead of the start of UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa.And an MEP warned the debate that industry lobbying was damaging the EU's position on climate change, accusing BusinessEurope of failing to represent the views of its members who are calling for tougher targets.Bas Eickhout MEP (Green) told the debate, organised by Corporate Europe Observatory, TNI, Friends of the Earth Europe and FERN, that BusinessEurope claimed to speak on behalf of European industry but in fact represented the lowest common denominator position, effectively silencing those companies which support a 30% cut in CO2 emissions by 2020.Oscar Reyes from Carbon Trade Watch told the debate that carbon trading system failed to require countries to take responsibility for their own emissions, allowing them to offset them by buying permits from the developing world.He said what was needed was a change in climate finance, shifting subsidies away from fossil fuels and investing in infrastructre, non-fiscal measures, as well as a complete  transformation politically. Damian Meadows, the Head of Unit for International Carbon Markets at DG Climate Action, said that carbon trading must not be seen as a sole solution, but putting a price on carbon was an important component.And he defended the EU's position ahead of the Durban climate talks, saying the EU wanted a multilateral agreement – but increasing the EU's target unilaterally would not deliver action from the United States or China.“We need broad commitments, we need a clear roadmap from Durban,” he sid.Esther Bollendorff from Friends of the Earth Europe told the debate that the European Union must face up to its historical responsibilities by taking action first, but that it was also in the interest of European industry.“It's in our own interest for Europe to take action to cut emissions at home, so we cannot support the Commission position to only take action if others do too,” she said.See Bas Eickhout MEP's comments on industry lobbying on climate change here: http://vimeo.com/32621584 
 

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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...

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.
The Commission proposal for 'mandatory' transparency register is a disappointment. Its measures will do little to help journalists, civil society and citizens scrutinise the corporate lobbies trying to manipulate EU policies in their favour.
Corporate Europe Observatory is looking for an experienced, creative and dynamic outreach and mobilisation organiser to strengthen our visibility as well as public engagement with CEO's work in countries across Europe. The 13-month contract will run from 1 December 2016 to 31 December 2017.
CETA is a sweeping trade deal restricting public policy options in areas as diverse as intellectual property rights, government procurement, food safety, financial regulation, the temporary movement of workers, domestic regulation and public services, to name just a few of the topics explored in this analysis.
 
 
 
 
 
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