Next month’s UN climate talks in Warsaw, aka COP19, will be remembered as ‘the Corporate COP’. While the international climate negotiations have become progressively more oriented towards the needs of big business – and less around the needs of the climate – this year it has reached new heights, in particular the ‘pre-COP’ organised by Poland’s Minister for Environment Marcin Korolec: dirty industry were invited to precook the negotiations before it has even begun. What’s more worrying is that Korolec and the UN want to make such blatant corporate capture a permanent fixture at all talks.
Last week’s ‘pre-COP’ saw around 40 ministers and negotiators meet for three days with representatives from big business. Some of the most polluting, climate-damaging companies were present, including chemicals giant BASF, cement producer Cemex, builder of Poland’s biggest coal plant Alstom and Poland’s biggest coal, oil and gas company PGE. Also present were corporate lobby groups like employers federation BusinessEurope, their Polish counterparts Lewiatan, the American International Business Council and the Brazil National Confederation of Industry, all of whom have been lobbying against tougher climate regulations.
As already reported on this blog, the meeting to decide this November’s negotiating agenda was an invite only affair for government and business, with civil society excluded. So no public scrutiny, no accountability, and only the Minister’s own conclusions to indicate what was discussed. But Korolec, in his post-meeting comments, saw that as a good thing:
“I am very much satisfied with the meeting. We had an honest and open dialogue among the ministers, which is only possible to achieve at closed, unofficial sessions.” Continue reading