Cindy Baxter writes:
As BP´s oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, I´m sitting here in Bonn at the first full round of climate talks since the fiasco in Copenhagen.
We are doing our best to get this lot to make some progress. To get an agreement that will prevent dangerous climate change.
But there are others here with a different view. The oil industry. The coal industry. The corporate lobby that whispers in Government ears -- especially in the industrialized world.
The head of BP Germany and his political have been here, as part of the Federation of German Industries´ delegation.
The Federation of German Industries is part of the Europe-wide business lobby trying to stop the EU from shifting its emissions reductions target from a paltry 20% to 30% by 2020, a shift that would provide the leadership that still appears to be missing in terms of getting to a strong deal to save the climate.
BP is not alone – Shell and Exxon are also here in Bonn, but none of them seem to be pushing for anything other than a business-as-usual future, a future choked by the polluting emissions from oil and coal.
I read today that BP´s 2009 response plan for the Gulf of Mexico lists a scientist who died in 2005 as one of their wildlife experts. It includes plans for rescuing walrus, sea lions, otters and seals, none of which live anywhere near the Gulf. Did they cut and paste it from an Alaska impact assessment?
So if that´s the quality of the information coming from one of the world´s largest companies, why should Governments believe the arguments put forward by their lobbyists?
Estimates are that the amount of oil spilled into the Gulf to date is around five days of US oil use. A strong climate deal would help us move to the clean energy future we need – or, as someone put it rather well the other day – we need “petroleum rehab’. Now. Fast. More drilling for oil just ain´t gonna do that.
Ultimately, if that oil hadn´t spilled into the Gulf, it would end up in the sky. Neither is a sustainable option.
Time to end this madness?