Posted in Press Releases

More than 224,000 call on UNFCCC to kick big polluters out of climate policy

KICK POLLUTERS

Corporate Accountability International and more than 224,000 organisations and  people have called on the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),  in the final days of the Bonn Climate Change Conference,to protect the treaty and climate policy making from the undue influence of the globe’s biggest polluters.

The call comes as record droughts and rainfall as well as relentless heat waves claim lives around the globe and some of the world’s biggest polluters attempt to co-opt the treaty process and influence negotiating outcomes and a few months before the Paris meeting.

The call signals a global rejection of corporate capture of climate change policy making.

The meeting in Bonn is one of the last formal meetings of the Parties before the next full Conference of the Parties to the treaty in Paris—largely regarded as a make-or-break moment for the agreement.

Industry interference

 “Why would you let the professional arsonist join the volunteer fire department?” said Bill McKibben, author and co-founder of 350.org, “These are the guys who want to keep the problem going, not solve it.”

From aggressive lobbying of national governments to bankrolling of international meetings, the fossil fuel industry interferes at all levels.

Industry co-optation of treaty meetings has been a growing problem and a primary obstacle to progress. At the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Warsaw, corporations with a direct conflict of interest in the treaty’s success not only sponsored the talks, they were given preferential access to delegates.

In May, it was revealed that COP 21 in Paris may be yet another “Corporate COP” with the announcement of EDF and Suez Environment as lead sponsors.

Suez Environment, infamous for its dealings in water privatization, is partially owned by ENGIE, formerly GDF Suez, which profits from fracking operations around the world, putting it at direct odds with the advancement of the treaty. ENGIE and EDF’s coal operations contribute to nearly 50% of France’s emissions.

The Petitioners say the cozy relationship between polluters and the UNFCCC has become increasingly institutionalized.  The Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), a joint project of the incoming and outgoing COP presidents, the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UNFCCC Secretariat, encourages direct engagement with non-state actors—primarily identified as sub-national governments and corporations—as stakeholders in the policy making process.

“The fossil fuel industry is not a partner in the solution—it is the driver of the crisis. Giving big polluters a seat at the table glosses over the glaring conflict of interest fossil fuel corporations have in a real solution to climate change,” said John Stewart, deputy campaign director at Corporate Accountability International.

According to John, “Inviting gas, oil and coal corporations to shape climate policy is akin to looking to Big Tobacco to shape public health policy.”

The Petition

“We call on you to take immediate action to protect COP 21 and all future negotiations from the influence of big polluters. Given the fossil fuel industry’s years of interference intended to block progress, push false solutions, and continue the disastrous status quo, the time has come to stop treating big polluters as legitimate “stakeholders” and to remove them from climate policy making.”kick polluters 3

Today, we are facing the prospect of the destruction of life as we know it and irreversible damage to our planet due to climate change. Scientists are telling us with ever more urgency that we must act quickly to stop extracting fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the world’s largest polluters have prevented progress on bold climate action for far too long.”  The petition said.

The petitioners called on the Parties to the UNFCCC to protect the UN climate talks and climate policy making around the world from the influence of big polluters.

According to them, “The world is looking to the next round of negotiations – in Paris this December – for decisive action on climate. This is a pivotal moment to create real solutions. We need a strong outcome from the Paris talks in order to seize the momentum of a growing global movement, and to urge leaders to take bolder action to address the climate crisis.”

They claimed that the fossil fuel industry and other transnational corporations that have a vested interest in stopping progress continue to delay, weaken, and block climate policy at every level.

“From the World Coal Association hosting a summit on “clean coal” around COP 19 to Shell aggressively lobbying in the European Union for weak renewable energy goals while promoting gas – these big polluters are peddling false solutions to protect their profits while driving the climate crisis closer to the brink.” They insisted.

A decade ago, the international community took on another behemoth industry – Big Tobacco – and created a precedent-setting treaty mechanism that removed the tobacco industry from public health policy. This can happen again here.

Corporate Accountability International will deliver this message and the list of signatures at the climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the first week of June. They will do another delivery by the end of COP 21 in Paris this December.

To view the petition, go to www.KickBigPollutersOut.com


Posted in Green Quotes

“Inviting gas, oil and coal corporations to shape climate policy is akin to looking to Big Tobacco to shape public health policy.” -John Stewart, deputy campaign director at Corporate Accountability International.

Posted in Press Releases

African Environmental Group commits to Halting extractive activities

A conference and Annual General Meeting of a civil society Network, Oilwatch Africa, has ended in Togo with a renewed commitment by the group to stand firmly with communities across the continent and globally in their struggles for environments devoid of the impunities of fossil extracting activities.

http://www.voiceofnigeria.org/africa/african-environmental-group-commits-to-halting-extractive-activities.html

Posted in News

Group presents environment roadmap for Nigeria

By Ugonma Cokey

A non –governmental Organisation, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria has presented a 10-point Agenda on the environment to the Nigerian government and policy makers. Presenting the Agenda during an ERA meeting on Environment sustainability agenda for National Development in Abuja, Dr. Godwin Ojo, explained that the agenda was a result based on years of interaction with communities. The policy covers ten cardinal areas.

Source: Group presents environment roadmap for Nigeria | Climate Reporters

Posted in Press Releases

Fossil Fuel Dependence Fuels Corruption : Oilwatch

OIL WATCH AFRICA

Members of Oilwatch Africa network at a conference on Tuesday, in Lome, Togo, resolved that urgent actions must be taken to save the African continent from being wholly degraded, grabbed and burnt.

Oilwatch Africa declared that global distortions brought about by excessive consumption of fossil fuels and the externalisation of costs to parts of the world that consume less energy and fossil fuels lock in unacceptable injustices must be urgently and openly addressed.

It said that the world must wake up to the fact that at least 80% of known reserves of fossil fuels must be left unburned.

This, Oilwatch said should be the core of climate negotiations if the Planet is not to be burnt on the altar of profiteers who do not care about future generations and other species on the planet.

False solutions

It called on African governments to reject false solutions to global warming including those pushed though REDD, geo engineering and other strategies that are threatening to elevate the currently intolerable levels of land grabbing to that of a whole continent grab.

According to oil watch, floods, droughts and expanding desertification on the continent are all fed by the world’s continual addiction to fossil fuels.

 “Obnoxious activities such as pollution and gas flaring which alarmingly continue in the oil fields of Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and elsewhere must be stopped and energy needs be met with abundant renewable alternatives.”  It said.

Oilwatch called on the new government in Nigeria to implement the almost 4 year-old UNEP Report on Ogoni environment and give the people a chance to enjoy a healthy environment.

Africa and Climate impact

Africa is one of the most exposed regions of the world to climate change impacts, with temperature rise at least 50% above global averages.

The meeting declared that Global action to tackle this cannot be based on voluntary independently nationally determined contributions (INDCs) being pursued at the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Food sovereignty and nutrition

The group declared that” with uncontaminated lands and adequate support for local agricultural production, Africa can feed Africans and levels of nutrition can be maintained without resort to commercially and politically driven genetic engineering of our staple crops for enhanced vitamin levels”

It insisted that nutrition cannot be manufactured in laboratories and demanded access to land and security of land tenure for women.

Oilwatch Africa called for stoppage of fossil exploration and other expansion activities on the continent, demanded an audit of already accumulated impacts and full restitution for harm suffered.

Members of Oilwatch Africa network considered the implications of the world’s stubborn dependence on fossil fuels on climate, food sovereignty, nutrition and well-
being in Africa.EDITED LOME

Impact of extractive activities

Participants at the conference shared experiences on impacts of extractive activities on their communities and countries.

The conference particularly examined the environmental and socio-economic impacts of oil, gas and coal extraction. The impacts on food production, water pollution and deforestation were discussed as well as the growing trend of land grabbing on the continent.

Oilwatch Africa frowns at the trend where corporate interests and international groupings, such as the G7 and the like, “aims at polluting our biodiversity, grabbing our lands, water and seeds, are being promoted under the banners of Africans being hungry, now being malnourished, stunted and going blind.”

The group described as unacceptable “ploys to destroy our agriculture, subvert our economies, re-colonize the continent and subjugate our peoples”

Fossil fuel dependence

The conference noted that the current level of consumption of fossil fuels was in denial of the demand not to burn 80% of known fossil fuel reserves without raising global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and triggering catastrophic climate change.

According to the conference, “fossil fuel dependence fuels corruption, engenders conflicts and distorts the value base of communities”

Oilwatch Africa members regretted that the false dreams that African countries can build their economies on the extractivist path has unfortunately been bought by African governments.

It said that the rise of new fossil fuel reserves being found and extracted across the continent, has led to lack of respect for pristine areas of high cultural and world heritage value.

The conference noted the serious impact on agriculture by the pollution of lands, salinization of fresh waters and the destruction of fisheries as inimical to the continent’s economy and overall wellbeing and described it as “an extension of the colonial route that saw Africa merely as a source of raw materials and strapped colonial and neo-colonial governments on the treadmill of cash cropping and mineral extraction for export”.

Posted in Green Quotes

Green Quote

“Who is afraid of Pipeline metering? Why publish what you pay without publishing what  you pump?”  Dr. Godwin Ojo,Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria.