Dec 03, 2019
Big polluters must pay for their role in creating the climate crisis, campaigners said Wednesday as the United Nations hosted its 25th annual Conference of the Parties (COP 25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
"For decades, big polluters have gone to any lengths to block, weaken, and delay policy," Pascoe Sabido, researcher and campaigner for the Corporate Europe Observatory, said in a statement. "That time is over. They need to pay for the real solutions and be held liable for their years of abuse."
The call to hold corporations accountable came in the wake of reports on the sponsorship of the conference by emissions-spewing corporations, including Spain's largest polluter, the electric power generator Endesa.
As Eartherreported, the sponsorship is a good deal for Endesa:
The company paid $2.2 million to be a diamond sponsor of the conference, though they'll receive some of that money back in tax incentives, according to a report from El Periodico. In exchange for their funding, Endesa received an exhibition space in the conference's stakeholder area.
On Tuesday, Observatory of Multinationals in Latin America researcher Erika Gonzalez wrote for Common Dreams that "sponsorship is a symptom of a larger problem of corporate capture at the UNFCCC."
"Inside the talks, trade associations representing the interests of the fossil fuel industry and other Big Polluters stalk the halls and push their members' agenda," wrote Gonzalez. "The result of this corporate omnipresence is clear--the negotiations move at a snail's pace and more often than not reflect the interests of global corporations, not people and the planet."
The sponsorship generated accusations of greenwashing from climate advocates on social media.
\u201cA prime example of #greenwashing and #impactwashing from @CocaCola at #COP25, a company that is terrible for health and planet but number 1 at pretending to care and confusing the evidence. Important reminder for event organizers to #walkthetalk when accepting sponsorship.\u201d— Sof\u00eda Cond\u00e9s (@Sof\u00eda Cond\u00e9s) 1575392857
In a statement, Philip Jakpor of Environmental Rights Action said polluters must be held accountable.
"The fossil fuel industry must take full responsibility for the climate change crisis," said Jakpor. "There is no alternative to cutting down emissions at the source and the time is now."
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.