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Governments and international public institutions such as the UN are increasingly advancing their corporate agendas, particularly in the areas of climate change and biodiversity. Greenwash and lobbying are important elements of how companies are actually influencing public institutions. This campaign aims to expose the corporate strategies to manipulate governments and public institutions and highlight how this works against the public interest.
Friends of the Earth International is aiming to shed light on what we consider to be the central issue underlying a lack of government accountability towards their ordinary citizens on environmental and sustainability issues. In the area of climate policy and beyond, government positions are being increasingly hijacked by narrow corporate interests linked to polluting industries and industries which are seeking to profit from the climate crisis.
Through a series of case studies we will demonstrate the diverse ways in which the powerful can exert pressure over national level and multilateral political decision-making. These include:
- Behind the scenes lobbying, i.e. behind the scenes meetings with politicians and policy-makers
- ‘Soft’ lobbying activities such as hospitality
- Direct funding of political parties
- Funding of think tanks to influence national political agendas and policy debates under the guise of academic impartiality
- 'Revolving doors', i.e. the movement of key personnel from public administration into the private sector and vice versa
- Membership of national political task forces and committees
- Membership of international level political task forces and committees.
We are committed to working with others in the environmental justice movement, and wider movements for social and economic justice to help strengthen our work together and support the organising and empowerment of those most affected by the unjust and unsustainable economic system that is driving climate change and environmental destruction and undermining the rights, livelihoods and wellbeing of people around the world.
We are, first and foremost, committed to listening to and working with others in the movement to see how we can move together towards a future where the voices of ordinary people and communities – workers, farmers, Indigenous Peoples, women, students, the elderly – are heard by governments and political representatives and our livelihoods, wellbeing, and the sustainability of the natural systems that sustain us are prioritised.
Image: An ironic take on one of Vale's advertisements. The company is the focus of one of our case studies.