Polluters Pose as Saviors at Copenhagen

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). IETA's delegation is headed by the group's CEO, Henry Derwent, and includes representatives from member companies such as the Russian gas giant, Gazprom, the global electricity and gas company, EON and the oil major, Shell. One of IETA's "key messages" for the COP15 conference is that "business must be engaged in the reform of existing and design of new" market-based mechanisms "so that investments can grow and a wider array of countries can benefit." IETA is one of the candidates for CEO's Angry Mermaid award for its role in promoting carbon offsets via the Clean Development Mechanism, a scheme established under the Kyoto Protocol. Offsets have been criticized for rewarding projects which don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond those which would have occurred without the scheme.