Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Australia siding with major international corporations at climate change talks


A cryptic reference in the New York Times today puts the Australian government on the side of big business in the continuing talks on the United Nations climate change agreement.
The Times reports that developing nations and environmental groups are challenging some of the world’s biggest companies and wealthiest countries over the role corporate lobbyists play in United Nations climate change negotiations.
The dispute opens an additional battle in the struggle over how to fashion a global response to climate change, one that corporate interests appear to be winning, for now.
Though companies are not permitted to participate directly in the climate talks, representatives from almost 300 industry groups are free to roam the negotiations in Bonn, Germany, as “stakeholders,” and to lobby negotiators on behalf of corporations that may seek to slow action, the developing nations and their allies say.
... Negotiators from Uganda, Ecuador, the Philippines and other countries have proposed guidelines on lobbying and conflicts of interest that could help curb the corporate presence at the talks. ...
At a heated session at the latest round of talks on Tuesday, delegates from the United States, Russia and Australia made a last-minute defense of the corporate presence, suggesting that a wider discussion of the issue be delayed.
A decision on the question was deferred until next year.
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