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Corporate interference in climate policy

By Admin

Added 31st October 2016 10:46 AM

Access for such polluters will continue undermining the Paris accord of 2015.

Corporate interference in climate policy

A dead tree on a farm near the Australian agricultural town of Walgett, 650 kilometres northwest of Sydney. (AFP)

Access for such polluters will continue undermining the Paris accord of 2015.

By Ann Grace Apiita

"There are too many lives at risk today to leave tomorrow to climate offenders that are driving the problem."

A statement echoed by Jesse Bragg of the Corporate Accountability International during the final week of COP21 negotiations; and it still rings truer today because of the escalating involvement of polluting industries in climate policy.

One of the most significant routes the polluting industry is exploiting to achieve their mission in interfering with global climate negotiations is their connections with the corporate organizations.

As a challenge to the governments of the world, energy companies such as Shell, BP and Total unlike ExxonMobil and Chevron agreed to put a price on carbon to exhibit their ‘commitments' on the roadmap to Paris COP 21: a strategy for them to be seen by the world leaders that they are devoted to fighting climate change.

Despite their vocal support to put a price on carbon, Shell and Total on the other hand have established key positions strategically at the board level with trade organizations that campaign against carbon pricing.

Shell's involvement with European Chemical Trade Association has been a complete hindrance to the mission of the European Union Emission Trading scheme. The strategy of oil and gas industries is to infiltrate corporate organizations to frustrate the effective climate legislation on carbon pricing.

Access for such polluters will continue undermining the Paris accord of 2015. The UN FCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres noted that the national climate legislation is ‘absolutely critical, essential linchpin' of an international agreement on climate.

In the past decade, important aspects of the climate policy that have been proposed and debated upon by diverse national governments for a considerable time now are greenhouse gas emission regulations, carbon trading and emissions trading.

Globally, no concrete agreement has been reached about the above aspects in the climate policy and the longer it takes, the greater the impacts will be for the climate system.

Subtle interference routes of corporate organizations that are camouflaging to protect the interests of big polluters to maximize profits at the expense of the environment are unacceptable and must not be ignored.

The Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) that involved 1100 corporations: fossil fuels, transportation, energy utilities to mention a few provided a green light for the world's heaviest polluters to leverage climate actions. That romantic door which was opened to corporations during to drag the planet down the gutters must be shut as the world builds effective momentum to implement climate policy.

During the upcoming United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change negotiations in Morocco COP22 slated for the first week of November 2016, we as youth are standing firm against corporate interferences and their growing gratification to protect the interest of polluters from climate policy making.

The costs to reduce emissions today to save human lives and the climate system is achievable with collective global action compared to the future cost of damages that will be unfairly felt by climate fragile zones in low and middle income countries.

The progress by UNFCCC parties to halt the interference of polluting industries is never too late for the sake of the planet and humanitarian reasons.

The writer is a climate tracker

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