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Discussion > UN examines fossil fuel influence in climate talks process

I don't know if this merits a separate discussion thread or not. The title is taken from the heading to an article on the "science" section of the BBC website, written by Matt McGrath:

"Campaigners say there should be greater scrutiny of industry bodies that are involved in UN climate talks.
Environmental groups allege that fossil fuel industries are funding a number of business and industry participants in these talks.
These groups should be restricted, say the campaigners, because they say their goal is to slow down or derail progress.
Business representatives say that the discussion is an attempt at censorship.
At this meeting in Bonn, the UN has convened a special workshop on the role of observer organisations that make up a significant proportion of the attendees at these events.
Some countries including India, China, Indonesia and Ecuador are calling for clearer and tighter rules around potential conflicts of interest."

Note that some of the biggest coal burners are prominent in these calls, it would seem, but campaigners don't seem capable of spotting the irony.

McGrath's piece continues:

"A recent report from Corporate Accountability International gave details of what the group claimed were the connections between fossil fuel industries and business non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with links to the UN climate talks process.
"There are over 270 business and industry NGOs accredited to the UNFCCC," Jesse Bragg from Corporate Accountability International told BBC News.
"Many of these groups represent the interests of fossil fuel companies around the world."
"What many parties are saying now is that we need to take a look at what voices we want to have heard in the climate policy making process.""

That does look like an attempt at censorship/no-platforming to me. Are we reaching the stage where "greens" are so desperate that they now seek to ban dissenting voices. When I read the story to my wife, she made what seems to me quite a shrewd observation - "When a conference is only prepared to hear one point of view, it ceases to be a conference and becomes a convention."

Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised by comments in the story of quite staggering naivety:

"When asked what the differences were between the industry and green groups that try and influence proceedings, Mr Bragg said:
"Environmental groups represent the public interest - these business groups represent the financial interests of certain industries. Fundamentally we are talking about representing people or representing profits."" Are these people stupid, arrogant or both? Who says they get to decide who can and cannot participate?

Since much of the story revolves around a report prepared by Corporate Accountability International, and I had never previously heard of them, I thought I'd take a look at their website. They seem to be the usual sort of suspect who might attend the likes of COP22. Guess what? When I checked, they did indeed send 4 representatives to COP22. No conflict of interest there, then (they try to justify their views by claiming that fossil fuel companies have aconflict of interest in the talks)! It also didn't surprise me that one of their people, Nathaniel Meyer, has this profile on their website:

Meyer organizes powerful constituencies to support climate justice and stop the world's largest polluting corporations and industries from interfering in global climate policy. He also serves as a campaign spokesperson."

For goodness' sake, just how many of these organisations are there out there? Needless to say, this one also enjoys charitable status in the USA...

May 11, 2017 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Comments are open there
Green nutters have weighed in so the most sensible comments are the LOWEST rated
the example below got 35 down votes and 13 upvotes

"Who gave these Green groups permission to speak on behalf of the public?
I do not know anyone who has.
I seems to me that NGOs need to go back to there charitable basis and help people in real need.
Due to the interference of green groups our energy prices are increasing.
The gov's foolish answer to this is to cap prices not reduce green taxes.
The greens will end life as we know it"

ha this that comment now moved up the chart as I typed

May 11, 2017 at 11:23 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

FFS the NGO bods fly to these shindigs using Green energy subsidy cash and Green hedgefund money.

May 11, 2017 at 11:34 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Concln : Another BBC bogus green headline tat breaks charter rules, cos the conclusion doesn't support the headline.

LibMob NGO does a report that says its political opposites have done something.
#1 BBC CutNPaste
#2 Lower down a little debunking happens
- National Mining Association is shown not to be in the talks
- US Chamber of Commerce does participate, but does that match the headline "fossil fuel influence" ?
No, it's not shown to be a fossil fuel corp

"Your comment is in a moderation queue" ..yeh whatever biasedbbc

May 12, 2017 at 12:02 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Mark Hodgson, the Law of Gravity has never needed professional lobbyists.

If Climate Science had some proof of man's involvement in nonexistent Golabal Warming, you might have thought they would have produced it by now, rather than relying on outsourcing their marketing to so many different organisations, all repeating the same lack of evidence.

May 12, 2017 at 1:07 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Oh ... to be a fly on the wall at BBC editorial meetings and now even more secret policy seminars...

The "Green campaigners" want unelected power over us - no less - the tactics simply reek of religious zealotry and totalitarian aspitarations dressed up as "caring"

The UN is simply a farce

May 12, 2017 at 2:54 AM | Registered Commentertomo

"This entry is now closed for comments."

Obviously the mods turned up this morning
and let my comment from last night thru and one else ..and then closed commenting
seems comments were left open for 10.5 hours total

May 12, 2017 at 10:11 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

aspirations dressed up as caring even....

It's uncanny how well Richard Black's shoes fit every subsequent correspondent.

May 12, 2017 at 10:51 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Thanks for the interest taken in this thread. For the sake of completeness, the 4 Corporate Accountability International attendees at COP22 were as follows (thumbnail sketches taken from CAI's own website):


Lawrence-Samuel conducts strategic research and policy analysis on our campaigns to Kick Big Polluters Out of Climate Policy, Challenge Corporate Abuse of Our Food, and Challenge Big Tobacco. Lawrence-Samuel also regularly represents the organization in our official relations with the World Health Organization, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Lawrence-Samuel is an international human rights lawyer who, prior to joining staff, advocated for the rights of deported people as a visiting scholar at Boston College Law School's Post‐Deportation Human Rights Project. She also promoted legislative reform and access to justice as a Judicial Affairs Officer at the United Nations mission in Haiti. Lawrence-Samuel is licensed to practice law in the state of New York, holds a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School, and received her bachelor's degree in political science from California State University, Chico.


Rengifo Alvarez organizes to advance corporate accountability policies within the United Nations intergovernmental agencies and treaty-making bodies, including the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the U.N. Human Rights Council. She builds coalitions with organizations, community leaders, and government delegates around the world with a focus on the Global South. Rengifo Alvarez is a human rights and international humanitarian lawyer who, before joining staff, worked at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts as a public advocacy fellow supporting the policy work of immigrants’ rights coalitions. Prior to that, she was the bilingual senior assistant and Latino community liaison for Massachusetts State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz. She also worked as a public policy officer for the United Nations Population Fund in a joint program for the Millennium Development Goals to eliminate gender-based violence in Colombia. Rengifo Alvarez holds a Juris Doctor from San Buenaventura University in Colombia, a dual master’s in coexistence and conflict and sustainable international development from Brandeis University, a postgraduate specialization in culture of peace and international humanitarian law from Javeriana University in Colombia, and a graduate certificate in women in politics and public policy from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

3. Olatunji Kamar Buhari

Silence about him on the website.

4. Jorge Adolfo Vega Cardenas

He seems to have moved on. No mention of him on their website. However, a google search throws up some results. He now seems to be:

Capacity Building Officer for Latin America
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)

His name also cropped up here:

"Media and public will not be allowed to attend World Health Organization's (WHO) Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) negotiations, which started in Greater Noida on November 7.

After the first day came to an end, seventh Convention of Parties (COP7) arrived at a consensus to keep media and public out of the meetings that will go on until November 12.

Those present at the venue said that major tobacco companies had obtained entry under the 'Public', and were seated in plenary session at the main hall on the first day.

"Some Congressmen from Brazil having ties with Philip Morrison International cigarette company were seen lurking around at the venue, not as a part of the official Brazilian delegation but as part of public," said Jorge Adolfo Vega Cardenas, Senior Latin American Policy Coordinator at Corporate Accountability International, based in Mexico.""

Bit of a theme developing, it seems...Don't like someone else's view? Ban them from attending, of course!

May 12, 2017 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson