Wednesday, in protest at the unprecedented levels of corporate capture at this year’s UN climate negotiations, youth held a mock-auction, selling off the climate to the highest bidder. With Pauline Delgrange actively participating, the French speaking Belgian youth delegate, we had a funny time of jeering at the others observers disguised as the biggest polluters and climate laggards, such as BMW, Arcelor Mittal, BMW and Emirates Airlines, as well as Polish fossil-fuel giants PGE and Lotos Group.
One example of the heavy corporate involvement is the official sponsorship of this year’s COP by 13 corporate partners. According to the Polish government, the involvement of most energy-intensive players at the Climate summit is rather a way “to convince the sectors where the most potential is located to reduce CO2-emissions.”
This is also more or less what the man running one of the Oil and gas booths said, when I asked him what he was doing here (trying not to sound too cynical). He said that the Conference-building was probably running on coal (since it represents 94% of Poland’s energy supply…), so that it would be ease the transition towards “a more sustainable energy supply if the companies are helped by an approprate (read: corporate-friendly) framework set by the governments here at the COP”.
A complete shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy seems thus to be far from an option…
To my view, in order to reclaim the COP for the common interest, we need to build a carbon neutral energy system, phasing out the use of coal and gas for electricity, even if carbon capture and storage technology improves.