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December 14, 2018
Climate

Polluters out, people in: Dispatches from the global climate talks in Poland


Corporate Accountability’s team of international organizers and experts is on the ground at COP24, the U.N. climate change negotiations happening December 3 – 14 in Katowice, Poland.

At these critical talks, where countries from around the world are negotiating how the Paris Agreement will be implemented, Big Polluters are pulling out all the stops to block, weaken, and delay the lifesaving climate policy we so urgently need.

That’s why Corporate Accountability is organizing shoulder to shoulder with our Global South allies, government champions, and people like you from all over the world to make these talks the tipping point—where the world finally chooses the path toward climate justice.

Check back here, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages, for updates from Poland throughout the duration of the climate talks.

 


Breaking: Media expose censorship at COP24 & U.S. government’s obstruction

14 December, 2018

On the heels of this morning’s massive sit-in at the climate talks in Poland (scroll for more below), where civil society from around the world demanded negotiators side with people, not polluters, hard-hitting media coverage is exposing how climate justice voices are being silenced (Agence France-Presse), while Big Polluters and governments like the U.S. that do their bidding hold inordinate sway (The Intercept).

As the climate talks come to a close, powerful exposure in the media helps turn up the heat on Big Polluters and powerful countries like the U.S. obstructing progress. You can help by sharing this media coverage with your networks and on social media.


Massive sit-in at COP24 demands countries side with people, not polluters

14 December, 2018

Today, we held a mass action with civil society from around the world, in solidarity with people and communities leading movements for climate justice. Together, we raised the heat inside the halls of COP and reiterated the urgency of the climate crisis, making it clear that real climate action means listening to people, not polluters, and advancing community-based solutions.

A joint statement by a number of groups declared that, “Governments must take responsibility and provide real leadership to halt climate breakdown. They are failing completely to do so, and their failures are on full display here at COP24.”

Today we demonstrated that, despite the stuffiness of the U.N. climate talks and the Big Polluters holding sway in Poland and back home, our movement for climate justice and a just, sustainable world for all is only getting stronger by the day. Help amplify on Facebook and Twitter!


Ties between Big Polluters and delegates brought to the surface

13 December, 2018


Photo credit: IISD/ENB – KIARA WORTH

You may have seen the news earlier this week that the United States and a small handful of other oil-producing countries refused to “welcome,” or endorse, the latest U.N. climate report at COP24. This seemingly trivial diplomatic maneuver is a slap in the face to science-based policymaking.

If you wondered why they would do such a thing, look no further: DeSmog Blog has revealed that, of the the delegates representing these countries, 35 have close ties to the fossil fuel industry. The fact that these government delegates refuse to accept the urgency of this report is unacceptable. As the report warns: “pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree Celsius cannot merely be an aspirational one.”

Together, we are exposing the toxic influence of Big Polluters at COP24. Help us amplify this post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Just released: Report amplifies demand for #FairShares at COP24

13 December, 2018

The Civil Society Review, which comprises organizations from all over the world involved in climate policy, just released “After Paris: Inequality, fair shares, and the climate emergency.” The report lays out analysis and recommendations for a just roadmap for the Paris Agreement.

Representatives from organizations all over the world, including Lidy Nacpil of Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, held an event to discuss why we must engage the “equity challenge” in order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, and ensure a livable planet now and in the future.

This report, endorsed by hundreds of organizations around the world (including Corporate Accountability) reminds us that when it comes to our climate crisis, not all nations are created equal. Countries that have done the least to cause climate change are experiencing its most devastating effects.


Bidding farewell to fossil fuels: Ally actions leave coal and fossil gas in the dust

12 December, 2018

Big Polluters have been busy roaming the halls of COP24, derailing progress. But everywhere they pop up, we and our allies are there to expose and challenge their obstruction. Today, our allies at SustainUS and Gastivists staged a walkout in protest of the EU’s coziness with the fossil gas industry, while Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development organized an event to say “Sayonara, Coal.”

 

In case you haven’t yet—or even if you already have—please take action now to demand the EU delegation stand with people, not Big Polluters, at COP24.


Hellen Neima’s statement at the closing plenary of Talanoa Dialogue

12 December, 2018

This morning was the closing session of the Talanoa Dialogue, a forum within the climate talks for governments and civil society to discuss climate impacts and action outside the formal negotiations. Discussions within the Talanoa Dialogue do not lead to binding policy, but are meant to spur urgency and action when governments return to the negotiating halls.

Hellen Neima is a policy expert from Uganda and a member of Corporate Accountability’s COP24 team. She had the last word at the closing session of the Talanoa Dialogue this morning on behalf of the Demand Climate Justice network. Her powerful words moved many in the room to tears.

Despite the urgency from the climate justice community, as the talks enter the final stretch, Global North governments are continuing to obstruct progress on behalf of Big Polluters’ interests. Take action now to demand the EU delegation side with people and climate justice, not Big Polluters and the Trump administration, at COP24.


Shell is at it again. The People Demand better.

11 December, 2018

Today, on the heels of this weekend’s admission by a Shell Oil executive that the fossil fuel giant helped draft sections of the Paris Agreement, the climate justice community came out in force to challenge Shell’s latest event at the UNFCCC.

 

Help us expose and challenge Shell by amplifying the People’s Demands on Twitter.


Your voice—with hundreds of thousands of others—reaches the highest levels of the climate treaty

11 December, 2018

This morning, Corporate Accountability’s Sriram Madhusoodanan and climate justice allies from other convening organizations delivered the People’s Demands for Climate Justice to UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad at the U.N. climate treaty.

The delivery marked the culmination of weeks of organizing to craft and mobilize support for the People’s Demands, a powerful show of global unity developed by leaders of climate justice movements in the Global South in the lead-up to COP24. When these powerhouse organizers from around the globe sat down with Deputy Executive Secretary Sarmad, they represented nearly 300,000 signatures and more than 378 organizations from 129 countries. You can bet he felt the power—and the commitment to people-centered climate solutions over Big Polluters’ profits.

COP24 People's Demands delivery

The delegation representing hundreds of thousands of people (including you!) this morning included:

Of course, this is only the beginning for the People’s Demands. Stay tuned as we and our allies escalate the call for climate justice and real solutions through COP24 and beyond… and keep encouraging everyone you know to add their name!


The Nation exposes corporate capture of COP24, highlights People’s Demands as path forward

12 December, 2018

The Nation has published a powerful piece highlighting the growing movement backing the People’s Demands for Climate Justice and exposing the ways that Big Polluters have attempted to derail climate progress. The article quotes Corporate Accountability and our allies at Third World Network and Global Forest Coalition. Its conclusion strikes a hopeful chord, alluding to the strength, breadth, and depth of the movement behind the People’s Demands — now nearly 300,000 signatures from 129 countries and 377 organizations from all over the world:

“The conference corridors may be awash in oil-slicked cash, but on the sidelines a new internationalism is being forged. While they have no corporate sponsorships, they’re hell bent on making polluters pay.”


Protesters disrupt Trump advisor P.W. Griffith’s speech at the COP24 climate summit in Katowice, Poland, December 10, 2018. (AP Images / Monika Skolimowska)

With just a few days to go at COP24, our team and allies on the ground are harnessing this and other high-impact media visibility to ensure the outcomes of these negotiations advance climate justice — not the profits of Big Polluters.

The best way you can help? Make sure as many people as possible see this article by sharing on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn. And keep telling all your friends to sign the People’s Demands!


Indigenous youth leaders shut down US event promoting Big Polluters

10 December, 2018

This afternoon, the U.S. delegation held an event at COP24 designed to promote Big Polluters and legitimize their role within the climate talks. It didn’t go quite as they’d planned….

This bold action by our allies on the front lines of climate change made headlines around the globe, from CNN to Grist to ThinkProgress.

 

Help us keep up the pressure on the U.S. and expose its role shilling for Big Polluters: Amplify the posts above on social media. And if you haven’t yet, help us isolate the U.S. from one of its major allies in the talks: Tell the EU delegation to stop siding with the Trump administration and Big Polluters and instead advance just climate policies at COP24.


Statement: Time to stop Shell and Big Polluters’ interference in global climate policy

10 December, 2018

“This is why the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) needs a conflict of interest policy.

Patti Lynn, Corporate Accountability’s executive director.

Last week — at an event under the same roof as current climate talks — a Royal Dutch Shell executive boasted about how the oil giant is literally writing the Paris roadmap. Yes. That’s the same Royal Dutch Shell that is among the top 10 contributors to historic global greenhouse gas emissions. It’s the same Royal Dutch Shell whose abuses in the Niger Delta have devastated people’s lives and livelihoods. And it’s the same corporation that advertised a $10 billion tar sands project as a sustainable energy source. The only thing this corporation should be contributing with respect to climate talks is a commitment to remunerate countries for its historic carbon footprint. Yet negotiators will have further opportunity (if you can call it that) to hear from Shell executives this week alongside the government of Canada(see page 21). Shell will be smarter in advocating its agenda, to be certain, than the Trump Administration in its oxymoronic sideshow for “clean fossil fuels.” But its intention will be similar. It will look to greenwash and otherwise obfuscate its role in writing a Paris roadmap written by and for the world’s biggest polluters. I wouldn’t expect media, negotiators, and civil society to be duped. The event should prove an important moment for Shell to answer for its capture and corruption of climate talks.


Esther Kiobel poses with a picture of her late husband, one of nine men executed by Nigeria’s military government after a peaceful uprising in 1995 against Shell’s widespread pollution in Ogoniland. Photograph: Amnesty International

It’s time for a turning point in the history of these talks. It’s time the process responded to people’s voices, the science, and the scale of human suffering — not the dictates of Shell, its competitors, and its errand boy, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). These talks commenced under the banner of sponsors from a range of the EU and Poland’s dirtiest energy corporations. Civil society has been denied participation in talks, been deported, or had badges revoked. The U.S. and other oil-producing countries, acting at the behest of state and private oil interests, have refused to “welcome” the overwhelming scientific findings on climate change. And talks have continued to focus on fraught and ineffectual market mechanisms, in keeping with David Hone of Shell Oil’s stated preference that carbon markets be the only government mitigation policy on the table.

It’s time for conflicts of interest to be taken up in earnest, while time remains to chart a sincere roadmap to 1.5 degrees Celsius — and heed the People’s Demands for Climate Justice.”

–Patti Lynn, executive director, Corporate Accountability


Media round-up, week 1: People call for real solutions to the climate crisis in Katowice

10 December, 2018

As the second week of COP24 negotiations kicks off, our team, allies, and members from around the world have made sure that Big Polluters’ attempted co-optation of the U.N. climate negotiations is front and center in the media.

We exposed fossil fuel interference before the talks even began, through a hard-hitting article from Agence France-Presse (AFP) — one of the three largest news wire services in the world – in which Corporate Accountability Media Director Jesse Bragg and our allies laid bare how Big Polluters are attempting to derail the negotiations. And Democracy Now! reported on the hundreds of people from civil society — including our team and closest allies – who marched for climate justice in Katowice on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Intercept exposed a Shell Oil executive boasting that the corporation helped write the Paris Agreement.


Image: Campaigner Babawale Obayanju speaks outside the UK’s pavillion at COP24. Credit: Sophie Yeo, DeSmog Blog

Here are just a few more articles covering the COP24 negotiations that you don’t want to miss:

Securing media coverage that reaches millions of people all around the globe is critical for shifting the tide at the climate talks, and ensuring that the resulting policies address the roots of the climate crisis. These stories help set the tone for the negotiations in Poland, and directly inform how government delegates talk about a range of issues. Through media, we amplify the voices of our Global South delegates, allies, and organizing team on the ground challenging the interference of Big Polluters. And we’re putting the People’s Demands – a global rallying cry for real, people-focused climate solutions – front and center in the halls of COP24.

Help us amplify this media coverage: Share these stories on social media, and sign the People’s Demands.


Breaking: Shell Oil exec boasts of helping write global climate policy

8 December, 2018

We just learned Shell boasted last night that it shaped the Paris Agreement, just so it can keep polluting, making our climate crisis worse.

In fact, journalist Kate Aronoff of The Intercept reveals that right now during COP24, where governments are discussing how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement, Shell has been heavily lobbying delegates to push its schemes forward with them. According to Shell, “the [European Union’s] position is not that different from how Shell sees this.

This is outrageous.

Big Polluters should play no part in the climate talks, and the EU should side with people, not with Big Polluters.

If you haven’t yet seen Friday’s post below from Campaign Director Sriram Madhusoodanan, who is on the ground at the climate talks in Poland happening now, we urgently need you to call the EU right now and tell it to back the just, real solutions put forward by people in the People’s Demands instead.

At this moment, the EU is pushing Shell’s text in negotiations onto other governments representing people — especially in the Global South — who bear the brunt of the climate crisis which they have done the least to cause. Again, this is outrageous.

That’s why the action we wrote about yesterday is so urgent.


The sights and sounds of Saturday’s COP24 Climate Justice March

8 December, 2018

Here are some of the sights and sounds of today’s big COP24 Climate Justice March.

One of our favorite chants: “Coal must go! Coal must go! Climate Justice Now!” sung to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Our friends at Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development have a put together another large album of pictures here.


Call from our COP24 team leader: Call out the EU by calling the EU!

7 December, 2018

Our climate campaign director Sriram Madhusoodanan who is at COP24 needs you to call the European Union (EU) today to demand that they stand with people, not with the Trump administration and Big Polluters. So go ahead! Read on, and then call!

I’m here at the global climate talks in Poland, and what I’m seeing is disturbing: Just as they’ve always done, Big Polluters are attempting to co-opt the talks and use their vast resources and power to set the world on a course toward catastrophic climate change.

Sriram Madhusoodanan, Deputy Campaigns Director of Corporate Accountability, addressing a demonstration promoting the People’s Demands for Climate Justice at COP24.

Some of the top sponsors of the conference here are some of Poland’s biggest polluters. The U.S. delegation is hosting an official side event promoting fossil fuel corporations with industry executives, just like they did at last year’s climate talks. This gives the dirtiest of energy corporations undue credibility and a platform in the negotiations as governments decide how to address the climate crisis.

We’re not letting them get away with it. But we need your help.

The European Union (EU) claims to be a climate leader, but they’re not living up to that claim. Call the EU today to demand they stand with people, not Trump and Big Polluters.

Over the last few days, our team here at the negotiations has been organizing with other climate justice campaigners to ensure that your voice shines through. We’ve helped make the People’s Demands for Climate Justice a united global rallying cry. We held an event highlighting the path forward for climate justice, made global headlines to build visibility and pressure, and rallied with hundreds of activists to push for these just climate solutions.

We’re doing everything we can because we have a critical and narrow window to make sure governments commit to real solutions for climate justice, not dangerous schemes designed to benefit the fossil fuel industry.

As we organize here on the ground, will you amplify this call? Call the EU and tell them to stop siding with the Trump Administration and Big Polluters and stand with people around the world.

It’s time for the EU to stop being Big Polluters’ pawn.

With the Trump administration blatantly working on behalf of Big Polluters to stall climate action, the EU needs to stand with people.

The EU claims to be stronger on climate than the U.S., but it has been pushing Trump’s Big Polluters’ agenda behind the scenes.

We are working alongside European allies and people around the world to compel the EU to stand with its own people and millions around the world demanding equitable climate action.

Tell the EU to stand with people, not Trump and Big Polluters.

— Sriram Madhusoodanan, Deputy Campaigns Director, Corporate Accountability


“Sorry if you’re experiencing delays at COP24 today. It’s business and industry day.”

6 December, 2018

Today’s official theme at COP24 was “business and industry day”: A perfect opportunity for the Big Polluters swarming the talks to attempt to greenwash their brands and try to legitimize their presence. Naturally, the climate justice community did not stand idly by.

The coalition of youth-led organizations at COP24 organized a powerful action to call attention to Big Polluters’ conflicts of interest: As delegates arrived for the day, they were greeted by youth wearing “information desk” sandwich boards handing out fliers. Their message? “Sorry if you’re experiencing delays at COP24 today. It’s business and industry day, so Big Polluters are delaying progress.”

Philip Jakpor, head of media at Environmental Rights Action – Nigeria and a member of Corporate Accountability’s COP24 team, joined in the youth-led action.

On the heels of yet another report ringing dire alarm bells for the climate, it’s never been clearer: we need to kick those driving the climate crisis — Big Polluters — out of the driver’s seat of climate policy. Now.

Unlike Big Polluters, though, the global climate justice alliance of people got down to the urgent work we must do. The Corporate Accountability team and our allies, for example, held a popular workshop on the People’s Demands for Climate Justice. Rather than the dangerous schemes being peddled by Big Polluters, it is the People’s Demands that offer the real, just solutions we need. Have you added your name?


“Toxic tour” exposes Big Polluter infiltration of COP24

5 December, 2018

This afternoon, our friends at Corporate Europe Observatory and several other allies led a satirical “toxic tour” for media, delegates, and civil society.

Browsing the country pavilions at COP24, they exposed the many Global North countries’ pavilions that look more like a trade show for the fossil fuel industry than serious commitments to climate action.

Watch the livestream of the toxic tour thanks to Gastivists:

The informative and funny #ToxicTourCOP24 Twitter thread is here.

The toxic tour came on the heels of our panel event this morning on the path forward for climate justice at these negotiations, and was timed with the release of our new report and infographic exposing the corporate co-optation of COP24.


“Fork in the road” event points path toward climate justice at COP24

5 December, 2018

This morning, jointly with Corporate Europe Observatory, Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ETC Group, Indigenous Environmental Network, and PUSH Sverige, we held a panel event at COP24 to point the path forward for climate justice instead of Big Polluters’ schemes. The event, “Fork in the road: Just transition and true climate action, or dangerous schemes and climate chaos?” was made up of an expert panel from allied organizations from throughout the world:

WATCH the event’s video livestream (click the “join the event” button):

The audience, including government delegates and allies, joined us to hear climate leaders from around the globe discuss the opportunity countries have to forge a path for a truly just global response to climate change, the importance of protecting the negotiations from the fossil fuel industry, and the growing movement behind the People’s Demands for Climate Justice demanding just climate action now at COP24.

The event, combined with the drumbeat of pressure we’ve been building through our and our allies’ actions, press events, and media coverage (scroll for more!) is helping build major buzz in the negotiating halls at COP24.

People are sporting People’s Demands buttons everywhere. And in every space, we and our allies are harnessing the People’s Demands to educate and organize delegates to advance the real solutions we need to solve the climate crisis — not Big Polluters’ schemes.

Help amplify on Facebook and Twitter.


Just released! New report and infographic: The Big Polluters bankrolling COP24

5 December, 2018

Check out the latest way we’re ramping up major pressure on Big Polluters and the governments doing their bidding at COP24.

As the negotiations in Poland heat up, Corporate Europe Observatory and Corporate Accountability just released a new report and a new infographic that pulls back the green façade on COP24’s Big Polluter sponsors.


This new report on COP24’s corporate sponsors and accompanying infographic provides a stark illustration of how deeply Big Polluters have insinuated themselves into the international climate treaty talks. And it serves as a powerful tool for our government champions, Global South allies, and campaigners from around the world organizing in Poland to kick Big Polluters out and ensure governments heed the People’s Demands for Climate Justice.

As a reminder, just days before the conference began in Katowice, the COP Presidency announced that a number of the meeting’s corporate sponsors would be from the coal, gas, and fossil fuel financing industries.

Find our statement here.


People’s Demands for Climate Justice take center stage at UNFCCC climate talks

4 December, 2018

The global call by people for real, just climate solutions took center stage this morning at the UNFCCC COP24 talks. Literally.

Leading voices in the global movement for climate justice, including our own, held an official UNFCCC press conference to unveil the People’s Demands for Climate Justice.

Nathalie Rengifo Alvarez of Corporate Accountability at the official press conference unveiling the People’s Demands for Climate Justice.

We called on all governments to put the People’s Demands at the heart of their climate negotiations. We must ensure that the roadmap for implementing the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement enshrines real, just solutions that put people first as they are embodied in the People’s Demands. We must make sure policymakers reject the dangerous schemes peddled by Big Polluters and the governments that do their bidding.

Watch the video of our joint press conference, streamed live this morning on the UNFCCC’s site below:

The panel of experts came from many parts of the world. Each spoke to the importance of the demands, with Corporate Accountability’s Media Director Jesse Bragg moderating.

Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International
Souparna Lahiri, Global Forest Coalition
Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (and one of our advisers)
Nathalie Rengifo Alvarez, Corporate Accountability
Harjeet Singh, ActionAid International

Some comments of note from our panelists:

“We fight fossil fuels not just because it causes climate change, but because it also wrecks lives on the ground, and that’s what it’s done for centuries.”
— Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International.

“Through the climate crisis, our nature, land, and forests have become business opportunities for bankers and corporations. 1.5 or 2 degrees are mere dangling carrots. The ongoing negotiations and ministerial declarations are shifting the focus away from the pathways to real solutions.

The lands, territories, and forests where indigenous people, communities, and women are in the front lines, vulnerable to climate shocks, but resilient enough to respond with their own actions, using their customary practices, traditional wisdom, and knowledge. However, our rights, governance, conservation and restorations practices are not recognized and supported, since they neither bring credits, nor profits.

Real solutions need real support. If you can’t ensure our rights, our governance, and our initiatives, keep your hands off our territories and our forests. REDD+ is not conservation. Bioenergy is not alternative energy. Plantations are not forests. We will resist such false solutions, and struggle to advance real solutions will continue.”
— Souparna Lahiri, Global Forest Coalition.

“Without real money for real action, the urgent transition the world needs to make will be impossible to achieve. The alternative was set out recently by the world’s leading scientists: rising temperatures that will leave many low-lying countries and cities to disappear under the sea, and threaten life for people in countries all over the world.”
— Harjeet Singh, ActionAid International

“I don’t think any of these demands will be possible if we do not address the elephant in the room: The influence and participation that corporations have in this place. […] Governments must live up to their responsibility to serve people, not corporations, but they are not. […] We see this because there are no rules in this space [at the UNFCCC climate talks] to limit the participation of corporations.”
— Nathalie Rengifo Alvarez, Corporate Accountability

“People have the solutions, not Big Polluters. It’s time government heed our call and act for people, not the corporate bottom line.”
— Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development

Check back here for updates on media coverage. And if you haven’t yet, sign the People’s Demands for Climate Justice to help further the global movement for real, just solutions!


The “only way to start COP24”: People’s Demands for Climate Justice ring out at climate talks’ entrance

4 December, 2018

This morning, as government delegates filed into the conference hall for day 3 of the global climate talks at COP24, there was one thing they couldn’t miss: People representing communities from all around the world rallied to call on countries to advance true climate justice — not Big Polluters’ schemes.

Watch the livestream of the entire action, thanks to our friends at Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD):

The action brought together key members of the global climate justice movement centered around the People’s Demands for Climate Justice>, our collective worldwide call for real, just climate solutions. (Have you signed them yet?)


As COP24 begins, Global South climate leaders call on countries to honor climate justice and equity commitments

3 December, 2018

As COP24 begins, Global South actors call on all governments—especially those that do the bidding of Big Polluters—to honor the promises made in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Meena Raman of Third World Network (TWN), one of Corporate Accountability’s advisers, summarizes a central issue at the talks in this AFP article (reposted on Yahoo!):

“Developed nations led by the US will want to ignore their historic responsibilities and will say the world has changed. […] The question really is: how do you ensure that ambitious actions are done in an equitable way?”

Also of note: The story highlights that G20 leaders meeting in Buenos Aires yesterday agreed to a final communique stating that the Paris Agreement was “irreversible” but also acknowledged the intention of the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Let’s remember that the Trump administration’s own sobering report on the economic toll of climate change contradicts almost every position the administration has taken on climate change.

As our Patti Lynn, Corporate Accountability’s executive director has said, “We need world governments to lead, not play political games.

Read the news story here.


Listen: Corporate Accountability and EcoEquity discuss COP24, the U.S. climate report, and the People’s Demands live on Terra Verde

1 December, 2018

Yesterday, Corporate Accountability’s Jesse Bragg and Tom Athanasiou of EcoEquity were featured on California-based KPFA’s Terra Verde radio program, hosted by Earth Island Journal editor Maureen Nandini Mitra.

Have a listen here or below:

 

The conversation touched on the recently released U.S. climate report, what to watch for at COP24, how the People’s Demands are setting the bar for progress and climate justice at the talks — and the urgency of organizing for the policies that people and the planet need, not what merely seems possible.


BREAKING: Big Polluters’ interference at climate talks exposed in global media

30 November, 2018

Today, Agence France-Presse (AFP), one of the three biggest news wire services in the world, published a hard-hitting story exposing Big Polluters’ interference at the global climate treaty and quoting Corporate Accountability and our allies. The piece will have ripple effects within and outside of global climate talks just as they begin on Monday in Poland.

Image Credit: AFP/File / Darek Redos

The story has been picked up by Yahoo! News, with more coverage rolling in. We expect the article to reach millions of people with our analysis: The piece not only lays bare Big Polluters’ interference at COP24; it also puts direct pressure on powerful Global North countries doing the industry’s bidding at the talks, and amplifies the broad coalition of Global South governments and allies like ActionAid International organizing to secure a strong conflict-of-interest policy that would kick Big Polluters out of the talks.

Corporate Accountability’s Media Director Jesse Bragg is quoted in the piece: “Every day we learn more about what big polluters continue to do to undermine climate policy, yet their trade associations are still free to stalk the halls at the UNFCCC.”

Media coverage like this is critical for shifting and shaping the global narrative around the climate talks. This article is a powerful tool for giving delegates gathering in Poland the political cover they need to go toe-to-toe with the fossil fuel industry and demand the strongest possible policies for climate justice.

Stay tuned for more on the impact this article continues to have on the ground. And in the meantime, please help it reach more people: Share our Facebook and Twitter posts.


People’s Demands for Climate Justice swell past quarter-million mark. (Have you added your name?)

30 November, 2018

More than a quarter of a million signatures have been added to the People’s Demands for Climate Justice, on the eve of COP24 in Poland. These people come from 129 different countries, and join more than 300 organizations from all over the world who have endorsed the People’s Demands. Together, we are uniting to challenge Big Polluters’ interference in climate policy, and present the government delegates gathering in Poland with a roadmap for a just climate future.

Together, we’re demanding governments ensure that the final guidelines for implementing the Paris Agreement:

  • Keep fossil fuels in the ground.
  • Reject false solutions like carbon markets that are displacing real, people-first solutions to the climate crisis.
  • Advance real solutions that are just, feasible, and essential.
  • Honor climate finance obligations to developing countries.
  • End corporate interference in and capture of the climate talks.
  • Ensure developed countries honor their “Fair Shares” for largely fueling this crisis.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to join the People’s Demands, you can add your name here. Then, help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.


What to watch for as COP24 talks begin: corporate capture, conflicts of interest, and people power—oh my!

30 November, 2018

Image Credit: Climate campaigners protesting against corporate capture at COP21. Takver/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Our friends at DeSmog Blog have put together an excellent run-down of topics to keep an eye on as COP24 heats up next week.

As governments prepare to debate policies that will determine the fate of our planet, this article makes clear that Big Polluters and their front groups are lining up to influence the talks using everything in their bag of tricks: greenwashing, sponsorship, lobbying, and yes, even climate change denial. As Corporate Accountability’s Media Director Jesse Bragg says in DeSmog’s post, “Corporate sponsors, and direct interference in the negotiations, will be rampant as Big Polluters attempt to lock their agenda into the rulebook.” (He’s referring to what’s known as the “Paris rulebook,” or the policies that governments are negotiating at this COP that determine how the historic Paris Agreement will be implemented.)

But the champion Global South governments, climate justice organizations, and fierce climate campaigners gathering now in Poland aren’t going to let them get away with it.

Check out the full post at DeSmog Blog for more on the hot topics at COP24, and the ways people will be organizing to challenge Big Polluters’ and Global North governments’ business-as-usual.


Reporter exposes fossil fuel sponsors of COP24, quotes Corporate Accountability

29 November, 2018

Patrick Galey is the global science and environment correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP), one of the world’s three largest news wire services. And he just tweeted (to his thousands of followers) about the coal and gas sponsors of COP24, quoting Corporate Accountability’s Sriram Madhusoodanan, who is on the ground at the talks.

Visibility like this is a critical component of how we build pressure on Big Polluters and the Global North governments that do their bidding — and how we empower champion Global South government delegates to kick Big Polluters out and advance climate justice. Check out Galey’s Twitter thread above, and if you’re on Twitter, help amplify it by liking and retweeting.


Civil society responds to Polish security crackdown: “a dangerous precedent”

29 November, 2018

The Polish government has implemented a terrorism alert in the province of Poland where COP24 will begin next week, on the heels of an earlier bill passed this year to ban spontaneous protests in Katowice during the talks.

Image Credit: Cezary P / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Read more in EcoWatch about the Polish security crackdown and civil society’s response, including the following excerpt quoting our allies at the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development:

The Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), a Thailand-based network of feminists and grassroots climate organizations, described the bill as “setting a dangerous precedent” and one that “undermines human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

In a statement, APWLD member Banamallika Choudhury, from India, warned: “This clamp down on civil society space and freedom of expressions is a sign of increasing influence of the profit earning actors who do not want to change the system of exploitation that is leading to climate change.

“By closing spaces for voices of the people to come into global platforms like the COP, the profit-making exploitative industries and the states continue business as usual at the cost of the planet.”

Read more here.


Our team members are heading to COP24!

28 November, 2018

Our team members are Poland bound! Thanks to our members, we have been able to put together a strategically well-rounded team of international organizers, policy experts, and communications professionals who will help further our campaign. And of course they will be closely supported by the rest of our entire organization. Where they go, we all go!

Here’s two of ace team getting our traditional send-off as they head to COP24.

 


In case you missed it: Executive Director Patti Lynn’s statement on the U.S. National Climate Assessment report, Vanuatu’s Big Polluter accountability announcement, and the People’s Demands on the eve of COP24

28 November, 2018

In response to the recent release of the U.S. National Climate Assessment report and Vanuatu’s announcement that it may become the first country to sue the fossil fuel industry over climate change, Corporate Accountability Executive Director Patti Lynn released the following statement (excerpt—read the full statement here):

The National Climate Assessment report, released last Friday is a stark and sobering warning for people in the United States. The report, issued by 13 U.S. government agencies, warns of the catastrophic impacts climate change will have on the U.S. economy, our health, environment, and our food supply. Despite being released by the White House, this report contradicts practically every stance the Trump administration has taken on climate change.

Patti Lynn, Corporate Accountability’s executive director.

Released just one month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned the world that we have just 12 years to radically cut emissions, this report is the latest clarion call for bold, urgent action. These reports warn of the literal disappearance of entire nations under rising seas, the prospect of widespread disease and of famine, and the decimation of entire industries that will profoundly destabilize the world economy.

Both reports are grim. Their findings make the case for swift and major action to address climate change. …

You can read the full statement here.


People’s Demands become global rallying cry for climate justice on eve of COP24

As climate talks begin with Big Polluter sponsorship, voices for climate justice ring out front and center

28 November, 2018

It’s official: Corporate Accountability’s climate team has just landed in Poland for COP24 of the global climate treaty. And with them is one of the most powerful movements of people yet calling for just climate policies, united behind the People’s Demands for Climate Justice.

Yes, it’s true: The People’s Demands have truly become a rallying cry for the climate justice movement on the eve of the climate talks.

As of this writing, more than 220,000 signatures from 129 countries have added their voices in support of the People’s Demands, along with nearly 300 organizations including groups as diverse as 350.org, Empower India, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth – Nigeria, Flint Rising, Rainforest Action Network, TierrActiva Peru, and many, many more. (And the numbers grow each day!) Even U.S.-based elected officials, like Representative-elect Rashida Tlaib, have joined the campaign. Together, allies from around the world have been strategizing how to take the People’s Demands into COP24 and make these the talks where we turn the tide toward climate justice.

That’s some serious power!

The roadmap laid out by the People’s Demands brings together demands that Global South and climate justice allies have been organizing around for years, alongside relatively newer campaign demands like our own call to kick Big Polluters out of climate policy. (You can find the full demands here.)

And it couldn’t come at a more urgent time.

On the heels of a sobering report on the economic toll of climate change from 13 U.S. federal agencies came Poland’s announcement that the first official corporate sponsor of COP24 is the largest coking coal producer in the European Union. With people and the planet at stake, the fossil fuel industry is beating down the door to block progress at the U.N. climate talks. It’s never been clearer: Big Polluters have got to be kicked out for just climate policy to take hold. (Our statement here.)

Image Credit: Corporate Accountability

But it’s equally clear: Our time is now. The low-lying Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu recently announced that it may sue the fossil fuel industry for climate damages. Crab fishermen in California and Oregon are suing 30 Big Polluters for compensation for their losses linked to climate change. And the global climate justice community is rallying around the People’s Demands. People all over the world are fired up like never before to take action to rein in Big Polluters and advance climate justice now.

That’s exactly what our international team of bold climate campaigners is setting out to do in Poland — with the hundreds of thousands of people who make up the global corporate accountability and climate justice communities powering them forward.

Check back here for updates from the ground over the next two weeks. COP24 runs from December 3 – December 14, 2018 in Katowice, Poland.