Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions

Big business is supportive of many of the public service spending cuts. But UK companies, and the business associations that represent them, are lobbying hard to delay cuts in another area where they could make a positive difference: greenhouse gas emissions. Europe-based companies, including BP and Eon, have been systematically supporting members of the Senate who obstruct action on climate change and these links were revealed in a recent report by Climate Action Network Europe.

Magda Stoczkiewicz is the director of Friends of the Earth Europe, and writes on behalf of the organisers of the Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2010

Big business is supportive of many of the public service spending cuts. But UK companies, and the business associations that represent them, are lobbying hard to delay cuts in another area where they could make a positive difference: greenhouse gas emissions. Europe-based companies, including BP and Eon, have been systematically supporting members of the Senate who obstruct action on climate change and these links were revealed in a recent report by Climate Action Network Europe.

The report shows that the total money given by EU-based companies to anti-science and anti-climate candidates before the mid-term elections is higher than the sums given by Koch Industries – the second largest privately owned company in the US and a notorious funder of climate deniers.

On its own this would be questionable behaviour by European businesses. But many of these same companies, and their industry associations, are citing the lack of progress on climate legislation in the US to pressure the EU not to take effective action. The CAN-Europe report exposes the lack of action in the US as a situation these European companies themselves have worked hard to create.

Climate science tells us that Europe must make cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020. Research published by Friends of the Earth has shown that this is possible, and affordable. The climate crisis is a chance to achieve a just transition to a sustainable economy, with hundreds of thousands of high quality green jobs, and substantial business opportunities for those who make the first-move.

Yet heavy industries have consistently argued against higher emission reduction targets in the EU’s emissions trading system, scaremongered about widespread job losses around the continent, and obstructed other measures such as direct regulation, and shifting subsidies away from fossil fuels, which would bring about more effective, sharper cuts in emissions.

It is for this reason that a steel company – ArcelorMittal, an electricity generator relying largely on fossil fuel – RWE (npower), and one of the leading European business associations – BusinessEurope, have been nominated in the climate category for this year’s “Worst EU Lobbying Awards”. The nominees have all excelled this year in deceptive lobby tactics and been granted privileged access to decision makers responsible for climate legislation. This is a situation that must change.

When our decision makers would rather support the vested interests of heavy industry, citing the failure of the US to take action to mask their own lack of political will, we may have to conclude they also need to cut their links with big business.

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18 Responses to “Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions”

  1. diyana

    Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions: Climate science tells us that Europe must make cuts in g… http://bit.ly/gvUMUS

  2. CEO

    Left Foot Forward blog from Friends of the Earth Europe exposing climate lobbyist candidates for Worst EU Lobby Award http://bit.ly/hjVh4p

  3. Sian Day

    What a surprise… RT @leftfootfwd Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions: http://bit.ly/hjVh4p

  4. Spir.Sotiropoulou

    RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions http://bit.ly/gp4ne2

  5. Greener London

    RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose #cuts – (to greenhouse gas emissions) http://bit.ly/gp4ne2

  6. Mr. Sensible

    Surprise…

  7. Wendy Maddox

    RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions: http://bit.ly/hjVh4p by @foeint's Magda Stoczkiewicz

  8. Anon E Mouse

    Magda Stoczkiewicz – Would this be the same “Friends” Of The Earth who colluded with others in a letter that told a pack of lies to the Zambian government alleging that GM food caused cancer and that the US government was trying to kill their people with the aid they were giving?

    Which resulted in thousands of innocent people being starved to death when the government wouldn’t give them the food the Americans had made available.

    Since you’ve been rumbled lying in the past since no one got cancer from GM food, just a reduction in starvation, how can one assume you’re not lying again?

    You were wrong on GM food. How do we know you’re not just making things up this time?

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/about/greenpeace-gm-food-aid-and-zambia

  9. natacha cingotti

    RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions http://bit.ly/gp4ne2! Vote for the Worst Lobby Awards!

  10. Worst Lobby Awards

    RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions http://bit.ly/gp4ne2 vote for #worstlobby !!

  11. Nishma Doshi

    RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions http://bit.ly/gp4ne2 < Vote NOW! http://worstlobby.eu LAST CHANCE!

  12. Rachel

    RT @NishmaDoshi: RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions http://bit.ly/gp4ne2 < Vote NOW! http://wors

  13. David Heller

    RT @NishmaDoshi: RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions http://bit.ly/gp4ne2 < Vote NOW! http://wors

  14. Chris Phillips

    So the government, which promised to be the greenest ever, must change the laws to MAKE them green, by making it MORE profitable to be Green than not!

    OH! Forgot the CONDEM Government breaks its promises! …………

  15. Elizabeth Grant

    RT @NishmaDoshi: RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions http://bit.ly/gp4ne2 < Vote NOW! http://wors

  16. Worst Lobby Awards

    RT @leftfootfwd: Big business oppose cuts – to greenhouse gas emissions http://bit.ly/gp4ne2 < Vote NOW! http://worstlobby.eu LAST CHANCE!

  17. Anon E Mouse

    Chris Phillips – Except where it gets rid of HIP’s. And Runway 3 at Heathrow. And the freedom bill.

    And how do you make things profitable or not by state control?

    Unless you support Control Freak governments…

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