Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), a European lobbying industry watchdog, notes that the largest non-government delegation at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen is the 486-strong squad from the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).
World Nuclear News, a pro-nuclear website run by the World Nuclear Association, is upbeat about the draft "Danish text" climate change agreement. The text, which was secretly drafted by the governments of the U.K., the U.S., Denmark and Australia, has provoked uproar at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen.
If a captain fell asleep at the helm of an oil tanker traversing dangerous waters, the ship owners and the public would demand that they never be put in command of a ship again. But, despite 12 years of being asleep at the wheel, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized United Nations agency responsible for international shipping, is demanding that it be re-appointed to have sole responsibility for addressing the rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector.
James E. Hansen, one of the leading scientists researching global warming, would prefer that the COP15 climate change talks in Copenhagen collapse than result in a fatally flawed deal. "If it is going to be the Kyoto-type thing then [people] will spend years trying to determine exactly what that means," he said. Hansen argues that cutting greenhouse gas emission is not compatible with crafting political compromises.
Channel Four in the United Kingdom reports that, according to official figures, "the number of delegates and lobbyists taking part in United Nations climate change talks has trebled in the past 12 years." Olivier Hoedeman, from Corporate Europe Observatory, observed that "there has been a very substantial increase in the number of lobby groups going to these summits and it’s not as people would probably imagine – it is often business groups rather than environmental ones." At the Kyoto conference in December 1997, there were 3,66
Next week, up to 20,000 people will descend on Copenhagen for the COP15 climate change conference, which aims to negotiate a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. Aside from the thousands of members comprising the 192 national delegations, there will be thousands more lobbyists from numerous industry lobby groups.
Nick Griffin, the leader of the anti-immigration British National Party (BNP), has been selected as one of the 15 representatives chosen to speak on behalf of the European Union at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen. The conference aims to reach agreement on a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.
Fred Singer is one of the veteran climate change skeptics appearing at the Have Humans Changed the Climate? conference in Brussels hosted by Roger Helmer, a British Conservative Party representative in the European Parliament. Billed as speaking on the topic of "Why can’t we trust IPCC?" [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], Singer staked out a position that even other sceptics disagree with.
A recently-released report by the World Coal Institute (WCI) on how to finance the experimental Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology for power stations, reminded me of a cartoon from years ago by the Australian cartoonist, Patrick Cook. In the cartoon, a huge bloated budgie (parakeet) with the letters "BHP" emblazoned on its chest, was holding a gun to its own head while proclaiming to a cowering politician, "Hand over the loot or the budgie gets it." (At the time, BHP -- which owned iron ore mines and steel mills -- was haggling for government support for its ailing steel operations).
BHP-Billiton ditched its steel interests long ago and is now one of the world's biggest miners and exporters of coal for power stations. It is also a member of the WCI. In its report, titled Securing the Future: Financing Carbon Capture and Storage in a Post-2012 World, the WCI argue that there is an urgent need for massive funding of CCS trials by governments and with a generous slice of revenues from emissions trading schemes. Current funding, the WCI claims, is "too slow to allow necessary global GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions reductions goals to be achieved." Not surprisingly, they identify that "the appetite for this will largely hinge on public acceptance."
What the coal industry realises is that without massive public funding, CCS is dead. Without CCS, the coal industry and power companies locked into coal-fired power stations will, at best, be on life support.