The Earth Summit in Johannesburg offers another chance for industry to convince governments to ignore community resistance and the popular challenge to neoliberal economic globalization, and to continue to allow corporate operations without constraints in the global market. With this in mind, captains of industry have created another special alliance, Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD), to give them a green face at the Earth Summit.
BASD, a joint creation of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the International Chamber of Commerce, boasts big-time corporate members including Aventis, British Petroleum, Rio Tinto, Shell and many of the other corporates featured in this publication. The BASD will profile environmental and social initiatives by member companies as “proof” of corporate commitment to sustainable development, and as a strategy for avoiding the tightening noose of corporate regulation.
What will it take to convince governments that corporations are not able to deliver what they promise in the area of sustainable development? Will Johannesburg be businessas- usual, or will bold steps be taken to make corporations accountable to people?
Friends of the Earth and other social and environmental movements will continue to resist corporate domination over their lives and natural resources. Our campaigns, carried out with local communities, have already delivered some impressive results, and there are some places where specific corporations no longer dare to tread. We are convinced that people and biodiversity will ultimately preside over plundering and profits.