Who's holding us back?

Report - 24 November, 2011
How carbon-intensive industry is preventing effective climate change legislation

The corporations most responsible for contributing to climate change emissions and profiting from those activities are campaigning to increase their access to international negotiations and, at the same time, working to defeat progressive legislation on climate change and energy around the world.

These corporations – while making public statements that appear to show their concern for climate change and working with their own seemingly progressive trade associations like the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) – threaten to defeat urgent global progress on climate change and economic development for the 99% of the world’s population that desires both clean energy and clean air.

This report helps to demonstrate why decisive action on the climate is being increasingly ousted from the political agenda. Firstly we summarise the lack of action at a national level in several key countries to build the right preconditions to a global climate agreement, which stands in stark contrast to public opinion demanding change. Then, the report reveals through clear case studies how a handful of major polluting corporations such as Eskom, BASF, ArcelorMittal, BHP Billiton, Shell and Koch Industries, as well as the industry associations that they are members of, are influencing governments and the political process on climate legislation.

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Greenpeace released a controversial direct communication campaign profiling President Obama, Prime Minister Harper, Manuel Barroso Head of the European Commission and President Zuma. The artist renderings have the leaders faces composed of corporate logos and challenge the leaders in Durban to “Listen to the people, not the polluters”.