Published online 29 May 2015.
What could go wrong?
This is about the United Nations climate talks, as they are being sponsored by fossil fuel interests. I gather they released the list of corporate sponsors. Here is the money passage:
And who are the corporations financing the November 30th to December 11th conference—purportedly held to “achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C?”They include the French energy companies Engie and EDF, whose coal plants, according to Malika Peyraut of Friends of the Earth, “are equivalent to nearly half of France’s entire emissions.”
They also include the French bank BNP-Paribas, which “accounts for half of the total support—now totaling more than 30 billion euros—provided by French banks to the coal industry between 2005 and April 2014,” according to the global NGO network Bank Track.
And just so the reading audience gets the point, the piece continues:
The 20 corporate sponsors revealed by Guignard on Wednesday constitute just the first group, with many more to come.
But hey, at least they’re talking about it. This news reminds me of nothing so much as another recently-breaking story.
Meanwhile, in the US, courtesy of Don midwest, as regards the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the newest “trade deal” (shall we call it “son of NAFTA”?) and climate change. Apparently the administration has put out some sort of promo through the US Trade Representative telling everyone that the TPP and the TTIP, which is the deal after that, will be great for climate change. This is an effort to promote “trade,” well, corporate control really, good for corporations and all that. However! As Don midwest points out, referencing a Common Dreams article:
Also missing from the USTR report is how both TPP and TTIP continue an extractive model of trade that has not only negatively impacted jobs and equality, but has also been devastating for the climate.
The (environmentalist) groups pointed out that past trade deals, also sold as “green,” are hindering community responses to climate change: rules under NAFTA actually require Canada to export an ever-increasing amount of oil to the U.S., driving further production of dirty tar sand oil; a trade tribunal at the World Trade Organization ruled against an Ontario policy designed to support the creation of green jobs to produce locally-sourced renewable energy; trade rules allowed Swedish energy companies to challenge a German ban on nuclear energy production, undermining the country’s ability to set energy policy; and rules under NAFTA were used by a U.S. energy company to challenge a Quebec ban on fracking designed to protect the St. Lawrence River.
Oh and about those “environmental provisions”? They’re not enforceable. Power will rest in the hands of unaccountable ISDS courts, packed with representatives of corporate financial interests.
Write all the provisions you want; write all of the climate change deals you want. What’s really going on here is that the big financial interests sense the train wreck up ahead, and what are they doing? Working overtime to lock in future profits from fossil fuel exploitation.
One imagines a rich man, loaded down with suitcases full of money, aboard a sinking ship. If he piles all of the money onto the tiny lifeboat, the lifeboat will sink, and no other passengers will be able to sit in the lifeboat. But then, he thinks, maybe if I load all of the money onto the lifeboat, the lifeboat will take some time to sink! And if it’s just about to sink, I can always toss a suitcase or two overboard to keep it barely afloat! yeah, that’s the ticket!
That’s what these guys are doing — they’re the rich man. And climate change is what will make the ship of civilization sink.