Posts tagged #COY9

Corporate interests at COP19 and unethical funding

I went to an enlightening session run by Corporate Europe Observatory on how this COP is the most obviously influenced by corporate interests and the significant greenwash by sponsors claiming their polluting products are sustainable. Whilst it is often suggested, it is less easy to demonstrate the greenwash and influence corporates have on these events and general politics [although see the bottom of this post  for one  quick example]. Corporate capture has a massive impact on these negotiations through lobbying, funding, and giving weight to solutions which are in their interests rather than the common interest thus ultimately distorting the debate and discourses of finding solutions to anthropogenic climate change.  

I want to tread very carefully here and be careful of the general anti-capitalism, anti-corporation, socialist, communist labels I’m opening myself up to here. Labels are used too quickly and sully useful climate change debate. Whilst undoubtedly some corporates are using very dirty tactics, to avoid the labels and maintain integrity, I think it is vital to adapt the adage ‘attack the point, not the person’ to ‘attack the action, not the corporation’. It is also important to not generalise and say that one bad action makes a bad corporation, but conversely it should be known if a corporation has a pattern of suspicious, unsustainable and non-transparent actions, so they can be held accountable and responsible.

It is already difficult enough to achieve proper corporate social and environmental responsibility given the power imbalances that exist. Financially it is more difficult as it is impossible for civil society and social enterprises to compete with large corporations that have the money to sponsor such conferences. Given the lack of opportunity for civil society and smaller enterprises to have their agenda known through sponsorship partner profiles, this makes me question the ethics and legitimacy of such sponsorship options given there is a systemic bias of corporate representation.


COP19 corporate capture and greenwash:

LOTOS Group: As the second largest Polish, majority state-owned, oil company and COP19 partner, LOTOS are providing 11,000 felt document bags for the conference attendees. Its partner webpage states “LOTOS’s petroleum is products pose probably the lowest possible nuisance to the environment". LOTOS lobbies through their astroturf company and front groups such as the Citizens Coalition for Responsible Energy which help support their interests in oil and shale gas. Through their wide web of connections in various lobby groups, they fight tighter regulation and promote EU energy security “by enabling the cheapest and most available indigenous energy sources”. To have such a company as a partner of COP19 is highly questionable given their clear interests which I believe are mutually exclusive with the mitigation required.

For more information – visit Corporate Observatory Europe

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.

For official Institute updates, take a look here. 

Feelings and expectations

At Conference of Youth 9 [COY9]/ Powershift Central and Eastern Europe, the first breakout session involved discussing our expectations and our feelings related to COP19. I expect to see injustice and lots of it in regards to necessary climate change mitigation. Is it just to have this expectation?

This expectation disappoints and saddens me. It does not help knowing that so many others feel this way, although it is a source of collective inspiration. I would definitely consider this a realistic rather than pessimistic expectation. I am not as idealistic as I was once was but surely I have the right to more hope when attending a conference on progressive global change.  

I could write lots on why I feel this way and why it is justified such as that COP19 is really only preparation for COP21 in Paris. Rather than detailing the lack of progress at COP [and other similar conferences] I ask that you think about what your expectations would be for attending such a conference and how civil society should be able to have an impact on proceedings?

In an ideal world, hope will be restored to these international conferences, and they will be considered spaces where progressive change can and does happen.

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.

For official Institute updates, take a look here.



UN Climate Change Conference Training Weekend

This weekend we had a great time meeting our COP 19 delegates Natalie, Saskia, Lisa and Jerome for their Training Weekend at AUT Business School in Auckland.  

The delegates were fortunate enough to hear from experts Jim Salinger, an Auckland-based climate scientist and author of the new book Living in a Warmer World, Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand, and Geoff Keey, Global Campaign Coordinator for Climate Action Network International, about the policy outcomes they should expect from the Conference.

Delegates also learned more about the logistics of the Conference, which will host 9,000 people in Warsaw over the course of two weeks, and about what to expect from the annual Conference of Youth which will take place in the final days before the negotiations commence.

Another highlight was Skyping fellow Kiwi youth from the New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD) at their training session in Wellington.  NZYD sends a delegation of young New Zealanders to COP each year. 

Our delegates will leave in exactly one week, after a morning briefing with the Government’s climate change negotiators on Monday.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Sarah Trotman and AUT Business School for allowing us to use the beautiful Sir Paul Reeves building for our training.