Big polluters "have no place sponsoring climate talks"

Ahead of the COP24 UN climate change talks in Katowice the Greens/EFA group is calling for the adoption of a strong conflicts of interest policy that would avoid the disproportionate influence of the fossil fuels sector on international climate change negotiations. 

On 3 December, global climate negotiations will start in Katowice, Poland (Conference of the Parties 24). COP24 is seen as the most important climate conference since the landmark Paris Agreement was agreed three years ago.

The talks go on until mid December.

The Greens demand to tackle conflicts of interest within the UNFCCC has been raised by governments representing over 70% of the world’s population as well as civil society organisations from across the globe and is supported by the European Parliament.

So far progress has been slow, notably because the European Commission had been siding with Canada, the USA and others to block any discussions on conflicts of interest from appearing on the UNFCCC agenda. 

On 27 November Poland revealed that the climate change talks it hosts will be sponsored by Polish coal and gas companies.

Comment came from Max Andersson, Greens/EFA Member of the European Parliament attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice next week.

He said, ”Having the coal and gas industry as a sponsor of UN climate talks would be like the tobacco industry sponsoring an anti-smoking conference. Big polluters should not be given the opportunity to greenwash their dirty business and influence the negotiations." 

"The European Parliament has twice backed my proposal for a regulation of conflicts of interest in the UN climate negotiations. The fact that COP24 now has coal and gas companies as prominent sponsors underlines exactly why we we need this."

A delegation of Greens/EFA MEPs will be in Katowice for COP24 including Max Andersson.

Elsewhere, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer told this site, “The time for global action is now. Science shows that climate change is happening and we have seen 18 out of the last 20 years to be the warmest years on record. Katowice will be decisive to make further steps in the fight against climate change and companies across Europe are active to reduce emissions and provide innovative solutions.

"COP24 must deliver results on several fronts. Expectations are high. Without strong political will from all sides, it will not deliver on those expectations. We call on all major economies, in particular the US, China, India and Japan to deliver with the EU on this ambitious agenda.”

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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