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Whose interests are delegates actually going to represent in Paris, big business or us?

Written by Guest on Thursday, 23 April 2015

On the back of TI-UK’s Lifting the Lid on Lobbying and TI’s Lobbying in Europe guest blogger Katy Hall looks ahead to the Paris UN Climate Change at the end of the year and assesses whose interests will be represented by lobbyists when there are no effective measures to hold them to account.


The stakes have never been so high in the climate change debate. Scientists are warning that we have until the end of this year to reach a global deal on climate change or risk irreversible damage. Despite this corporate interests have been found to be actively lobbying against climate change regulation.

Climate change related disasters are causing mass displacement and migration globally and are increasingly becoming a reality for sea-side communities and those living in flood prone areas in the UK. With that in mind the lack of progress made towards the creation of a global deal to halt climate change begs the question: whose interests will delegates actually be representing at the upcoming Paris UN Climate Change Conference from 30 November – 11 December 2015?

The stark fact is that there is little transparency in the political activities of resources-resources-business when it comes to lobbying on climate change. Transparency International has issued two reports highlighting the shocking lack of transparency within lobbying, both the UK and in Europe (where most climate legislation is made). As stated in the recent TI report Lobbying in Europe:

Much of the influence remains hidden and informal; there are serious conflicts of interest at play; and certain groups enjoy privileged access to decision-makers. The risks of undue influence remain high and on occasion, this has resulted in drastic and far-reaching consequences for the economy, the environment, social cohesion, public safety, and human rights.

In the climate change debate 77% of the Global 500 companies are lobbying on the issue representing millions of pounds of potential investment, yet there are no effective measures to hold lobbyists to account. It is evident that that their power to influence is substantial.

UK resources-resources-businesses have the right to a say on climate change regulation at Paris, but so do those affected. TI-UK is calling for robust reform in which the corporate lobby can effectively be monitored and held accountable, alongside those who would put private interests above the safety and security of the British public.

Transparency is what is required if the delegates in Paris are to represent the interests of regular citizens, it’s what is required to prevent corporate interest subverting the debate, and it’s what is needed in order to respond effectively to climate change.


Read 2034 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 10:07


The TI-UK blog features thought and opinion from guest writers as well as TI staff. Any opinions expressed by external contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Transparency International UK.

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