Published by Corporate Europe Observatory, with research contributions by Karolina Jankowska, 19 November 2013.
Trouble always comes in threes: Big polluters, the Polish government and the UN
It is an inauspicious sign for the outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP19, that Poland, a country heavily dependent on coal and notorious for blocking more ambitious climate change policy at the EU level, is this yearâ€™s host for the meeting. The Polish Government has invited private corporate sponsorship of the COP a first for the conference raising questions of whether this is being taken seriously as an international meeting of paramount importance, or a facilitated lobbying opportunity for those who have a direct commercial interest in burning more fossil fuels. The fact that one business sponsor, the steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal, paid for the building of the structures housing the international meeting and has its logo on it is powerfully emblematic of how corporations have captured the COP process itself1. Meanwhile the International Coal and Climate Summit run by the World Coal Association is taking place as a parallel event, with the support of the Polish Ministry of the Economy; they have issued a joint “Warsaw Communique” proposing the non-existent “clean coal” to fight climate change.