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At COP19, Corporations Welcome, Climate Justice Advocates Not

'The talks have become a 'must attend' event for huge numbers of business and industry lobbyists'

Common Dreams staff

The 19th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Chang, or COP19, in Warsaw have been slammed for welcoming corporations—including fossil fuel industry giants—while slamming the door on climate justice advocates from around the world.

Corporate sponsors of the climate talks include coal, steel, and oil companies, as well as car manufacturers, Democracy Now! reports from Warsaw Monday. Major backers include General Motors, French energy conglomerate Alstom and European mega-polluter ArcelorMittal, Jonas Bruun and Robbie Watt report for the Institute for Policy Studies. "An entire floor in the stadium has been dedicated to private companies peddling ‘solutions’ to the climate crisis in the form of false-hope technologies such as pumping pollution underground and burning trash," Bruun and Watt point out.

The Ecologist reports:

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)'s yearly talks have become a "must attend" event for huge numbers of business and industry lobbyists, all eager to promote their preferred "solution" to tackling climate change — solutions which protect their business interests, provide them with new opportunities to profit and most importantly of all, allow them to continue polluting the climate and destroying the environment for everyone.

In addition to the heavy corporate presence at the climate talks, the global coal industry gets its own summit November 18 and 19 alongside the UN one, with the full partnership of the Polish government, as Common Dreams previously reported.

Yet, Democracy Now! reports from Warsaw that the reception for climate justice advocates is not so warm. After Philippines lead climate negotiator Naderev Saño gave a rousing speech Monday, he was met by youth activists donning signs demanding action on global warming and a large banner that read, "2012, 1,000 dead; 2013, 10,000-plus dead? How many more?"

Despite being embraced by Saño, the group that staged this action was promptly informed that they were banned by the UN climate talks.

"I don’t understand why civil society isn’t welcome here and corporations are," said Clémence Hutin, one of the activists who participated in the action, in an interview with Democracy Now! "And I think it’s a very wrong message to be sending right now."

This Democracy Now! segment has more:


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