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.
Giovanni Bisignani, the director general and chief executive of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), is a worried man. As the head of the global civil aviation's main lobby group, which represents companies such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Qantas, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, Bisignani (right) has been frantically working to ensure that IATA isn't stripped of its its exemption from the Kyoto Protocol at the COP15 conference, which opens in Copenhagen next week.
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.
Since the publication in May of his book, Heaven and Earth: Global Warming - The Missing Science, Ian Plimer has been the darling of conservative media commentators and the global network of climate change skeptics. Plimer, an Australian geologist, has been strongly criticized by climate scientists for errors in his book. More recently, he has been in the news over his challenge to British journalist, George Monbiot, for a debate over climate science. Monbiot agreed, subject to Plimer answering some questions in writing ahead of a debate, but Plimer retreated.
While a few news stories have made a passing mention that Plimer is a director of several mining companies, none have looked with any detail at which companies he is involved with, and how substantial his interest is. Recently, a volunteer editor on SourceWatch (hat-tip to Scribe), did some digging into Plimer's directorships with three mining companies, Ivanhoe Australia, CBH Resources and Kefi Minerals.
In a media release, the PR firm Hill & Knowlton (H&K) boasts that the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded the company a short-term consultancy for "an information campaign to encourage climate conscious behavior by delegates and others to help reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions" related to the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in December.