The corporate and elite capture of decision-making at the national level is a key factor underpinning governments’ failure to deliver economic transformation at the scale and speed needed to prevent the Earth’s climate from deteriorating further and avoiding even more dangerous
climate tipping points.
With this series of case studies, Friends of the Earth International aims to help open a window into the complex and largely hidden world of corporate pressure exerted over national and international climate and environmental policy.
Introduction: How corporations rule
An introduction to the series.
Part 1: Sasol and South Africa’s climate policy
Sasol is the world’s leader in coal-to-liquid (CTL) technology – the most carbon-intensive way of making petrol and diesel. Sasol’s Secunda plant produces more carbon dioxide emissions than any other single source in the world. The company is working hand-in-hand with the government in South Africa and Sasol officials are part of the country’s delegation to the UN climate talks in Durban.
Part 2: IETA lobby group ignores carbon market flaws
The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) calls itself the “leading voice of the global business community on emissions trading” and represents a range of energy-intensive industries, from Shell to Rio Tinto. It plays an active lobbying role at UN climate talks, pushing for the expansion of carbon trading and to weaken standards under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), currently the main international offset mechanism.
Part 3: Vale leading the corporate lobby for easier offsetting and other false ‘green’ solutions
The Brazilian company Vale is the world’s second largest metals and mining company and one of the largest producers of raw materials globally. Keen to protect its extractive and energy interests, Vale has used its proximity to the Brazilian government (which owns part of the company) to push for industry-driven measures through the UN’s climate negotiations, urging greater financial incentives and less stringent regulations for carbon offsetting.
This publication is also available in Portuguese here.
Part 4: Anglo American’s dirty energy lobby and false climate solutions
Instead of governments and international public institutions like the United Nations reigning in corporations that harm people and the environment they are, themselves, more and more controlled by those corporations. In this publication Friends of the Earth International, Corporate Europe Observatory, and the Transnational Institute expose how corporations are undermining crucial climate policies, and promoting false solutions that will allow them to profit from the climate crisis, while expanding the extraction of dirty energy. This is exemplified through the case of the British-South African company Anglo American, which this report examines from its activities at the world’s biggest open-pit coal mine in Cerrejón, in La Guajira, Colombia, all the way up to its lobbying at the UNFCCC.