December 10, 2018

STATEMENT: Time to stop Shell and Big Polluters’ interference in global climate policy

“This is why the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) needs a conflict of interest policy.

Last week — at an event under the same roof as current climate talks — a Royal Dutch Shell executive boasted about how the oil giant is literally writing the Paris roadmap. Yes. That’s the same Royal Dutch Shell that is among the top 10 contributors to historic global greenhouse gas emissions. It’s the same Royal Dutch Shell whose abuses in the Niger Delta have devastated people’s lives and livelihoods. And it’s the same corporation that advertised a $10 billion tar sands project as a sustainable energy source. The only thing this corporation should be contributing with respect to climate talks is a commitment to remunerate countries for its historic carbon footprint. Yet negotiators will have further opportunity (if you can call it that) to hear from Shell executives this week alongside the government of Canada (see page 21). Shell will be smarter in advocating its agenda, to be certain, than the Trump Administration in its oxymoronic sideshow for “clean fossil fuels.” But its intention will be similar. It will look to greenwash and otherwise obfuscate its role in writing a Paris roadmap written by and for the world’s biggest polluters. I wouldn’t expect media, negotiators, and civil society to be duped. The event should prove an important moment for Shell to answer for its capture and corruption of climate talks.

It’s time for a turning point in the history of these talks. It’s time the process responded to people’s voices, the science, and the scale of human suffering — not the dictates of Shell, its competitors, and its errand boy, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). These talks commenced under the banner of sponsors from a range of the EU and Poland’s dirtiest energy corporations. Civil society has been denied participation in talks, been deported, or had badges revoked. The U.S. and other oil-producing countries, acting at the behest of state and private oil interests, have refused to “welcome” the overwhelming scientific findings on climate change. And talks have continued to focus on fraught and ineffectual market mechanisms, in keeping with David Hone of Shell Oil’s stated preference that carbon markets be the only government mitigation policy on the table.

It’s time for conflicts of interest to be taken up in earnest, while time remains to chart a sincere roadmap to 1.5 degrees Celsius — and heed the People’s Demands for Climate Justice.”

Statement by Patti Lynn, Corporate Accountability, 12/10/18

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