Environmental groups said that corporate lobby, especially from the oil and energy industries, have a strong voice even among the ranks of civil society organizations during the recent United Nations (UN) conference on climate change. Green groups are therefore calling on the peoples of the world to take direct action to pressure developed countries to drastically reduce their carbon dioxide emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change.
BY RONALYN V. OLEA
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland, also called as the Conference of Parties 14, was held in December last year. The conference is one in a series of gatherings being initiated by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). It is part of the preparations for the Copenhagen Conference in December this year.
In a forum organized by the Philippine Climate Watch Alliance (PCWA), January 20, Paul Quintos, executive director of the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) and representative of PCWA in the Poznan conference said, “Malakas ang boses sa hanay ng CSO [civil society organizations] ng corporate lobby.” (The corporate lobby has a strong voice even within the ranks of [CSOs] civil society organizations.)
Quintos said that out of 9,250 participants, at least 1,500 corporate lobbyists from the oil and energy industries attended the conference.
He said there was no demarcation line between the corporate lobbyists and grassroots organizations. “The definition of CSO is problematic. Representatives of big corporations and grassroots organizations are not differentiated,” Quintos said.
Quintos summed up the running theme of presentations by the corporate lobbyists: 1) That technology can fix the problem of global warming and that business, particularly the high-tech companies from advanced industrialized countries, are the only ones or the best ones that can deliver these solutions; 2) That mitigating or reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and adapting or dealing with its adverse consequences will require vast amounts of money and therefore, private capital is necessary to provide the financing but as investments; 3) That if we want to change people’s behavior –production and consumption patterns — the best way to do it is through price incentives in the market; and, 4) Climate policy, whether multilateral or domestic, should be aimed at enabling private capital to do its magic.
Quintos said there was no debate about the role of market mechanisms such as the carbon trading. Carbon trading is a mechanism initiated by the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.