6 years ago

Lobbyists delaying climate action  

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THE issue of protecting business interests in climate negotiations came to the fore at the following UN climate conferences: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association (also American); Business Roundtable (USA); FuelsEurope; the Business Council of Australia; the International Chamber of Commerce, Shell, Chevron, BP, Exxon Mobil -  all of these interest groups were represented at the UN climate negotiations.

Only 25 fossil fuel producers are responsible for over half of global emissions and as such climate negotiations by these companies are considered to be among the top ten obstructive lobbying practices. In spite of all these facts, the fossil fuel industry secured a firm seat at the international climate negotiation table and leveraged its enormous economic supremacy. The general public is guided by the misconception that governments are the ones who drive climate negotiations. They do not have the slightest idea that behind the closed doors, it is the industry that is most responsible for climate change.

Sadly, people who contribute the least to global emission pay the highest price in terms of lives and livelihoods. One of the most prominent discussions at Bonn this year was one that took a look at the conflicts of interest (CoI) between fossil-fuel industry and the presence of their representatives at climate talks. Some eye-opening facts and information on how the representatives of "Big Oil" (fossil fuel giants) in climate conferences affect outcomes adversely have been highlighted in the report entitled 'Inside Job: Big Polluters'.

Many voices have been raised to demand the introduction of a conflicts of interest policy for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC has the authorization to shut the doors that are allowing corporate lobbyists at the table of climate negotiations, so some vital groundwork and a binding conflict-of-interests policy can be a significant step towards preventing the corporate interest holders from dominating the scene.  Parties must look to the abundance of established green practices all over the world and assemble in a rigorous process for the UNFCCC observers to reveal and limit corporate influence in its many appearances.

Shooha Tabil

Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET)

[email protected]



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