All the news reports this morning are that a deal at Copenhagen is dead. Barack Obama has said that we had run out of time to secure a deal in December.
This will please the corporate lobbyists no end. The longer they can delay action on climate the better.
But now Copenhagen’s iconic mermaid is striking back. She is pissed off with climate change and the lobbyists.
So a group of NGOs has launched an award – called the Angry Mermaid – to highlight how corporate lobbyists are sabotaging action on climate, whether it be at Copenhagen or domestically in the US.
After the public were asked to put forward their nominations, lobby groups representing oil, coal, aviation, the chemicals industry and emissions trading are all on the shortlist, alongside biotech company Monsanto, oil giant Shell and energy company Sasol.
Paul de Clerk from Friends of the Earth International, one of the organisers of the Angry Mermaid argues that: “All the candidates have lobbied to protect their own profits and prevent effective action to tackle climate change. The influence of major polluters and lobbyists needs to be exposed. We cannot tackle climate change and continue with business as usual – and that is what these companies and lobby groups want to do.”
“People need to be aware that there are very powerful vested interests at work here, and those are the interests that have made a big contribution to climate change and have the most to lose by strong climate-change policy, which is why they will do everything they can to protect their interests.”
The winner of the Angry Mermaid award will be announced at the Copenhagen climate talks on Tuesday 15 December 2009.
The eight nominees for the Angry Mermaid Award are:
• American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity – for pushing “clean” coal and for employing a lobby firm which ran a fraudulent letter writing campaign, sending fake letters to the US Congress on the US climate bill.
• American Petroleum Industry (API) – for spending millions of dollars on lobbying against US climate legislation, including setting up an “astroturf” campaign to create the illusion of strong grassroots opposition.
• European Chemical Lobby (Cefic) – for lobbying for free permits under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, undermining the EU’s main measure to cut carbon emissions
• International Air Transport Association (IATA) – for promoting weak voluntary efforts to cut emissions from aviation in an attempt to pre-empt international legislation.
• International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) – for promoting emissions trading and carbon offsetting as the solution to climate change, despite the lack of evidence of real emissions cuts.
• Monsanto – a biotech giant, for lobbying for carbon credits for genetically modified crops and promoting GM crops as a solution to climate change.
• Sasol – for lobbying for carbon capture and storage as a way to clean up synfuel manufacture – where coal is converted to petrol using vast amounts of energy and generating huge levels of carbon emissions.
• Shell – for lobbying for financial and political support for carbon capture and storage while investing massively in environmentally destructive oil extraction from the Canadian tar sands.
So please go to the Angry Mermaid’s website and vote for the candidate you consider to have done most to sabotage action on climate change or who is promoting “false solutions” to the issue.