About the campaign to kick big polluters out

Today, we are facing the prospect of the destruction of life as we know it and irreversible damage to our planet due to climate change. Scientists are telling us with ever more urgency that we must act quickly to stop extracting fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is a global problem that needs global action. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) can be a major part of the global solution that the people of the world are urgently calling for.

But the world’s largest polluters have prevented progress on bold climate action for far too long. The time has come to make a change. Take action to kick big polluters out of the most important climate policy negotiations.

What is the UNFCCC and what do big polluters have to do with it?

The UNFCCC is a treaty that entered into force in 1994. At that time, the global community came together, recognizing the need to act quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The treaty had the potential to provide a powerful mandate for all countries to set strong national policy. And the governments that have ratified the climate treaty (they’re called the Parties) just came together in Paris at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to create a new international agreement mandating action on climate change.

But the fossil fuel industry and other transnational corporations that have vested interests in maintaining business as usual quickly inserted themselves into these treaty talks and climate policy at all levels. For two decades, the world’s biggest polluters delayed, weakened, and blocked climate policy at every level. From the World Coal Association hosting a summit on “clean coal” around the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) to Shell aggressively lobbying in the European Union for weak renewable energy goals while promoting gas, these big polluters are peddling false solutions to protect their profits while driving the climate crisis closer to the brink. Read more about fossil fuel industry interference.

The moment is now

Corporate Accountability International and other organizations are calling on the Parties to the UNFCCC to protect the U.N. climate talks and climate policymaking around the world from the influence of big polluters. And we don’t have any time to waste.

Even as Parties came together to adopt the Paris Agreement at COP21 in December, corporations with ties to coal and gas were sponsoring the negotiations. Corporations were promoting false solutions in a giant expo in Paris. And corporations like Exxon, BP, and Shell were gaining legitimacy for their voluntary commitments on climate through the UNFCCC. As governments came together around new commitments on climate, big polluters time and time again tried to exert their influence over the process.

There’s a growing global movement to slow down climate change. And we need governments to fulfill and exceed the commitments they made in Paris to seize this momentum. But only when our policymaking space is free from the influence of big polluters can our leaders take the bold action we need them to take.

Can this really happen? (Spoiler: yes, but we need you)

A decade ago, Corporate Accountability International partnered closely with people, ally organizations, and governments around the world to take on another behemoth industry — Big Tobacco — in the U.N. policymaking forum. Together, we created a precedent-setting treaty mechanism that removed the tobacco industry from public health policy. The resulting global treaty on tobacco control has led the way to effective, lifesaving national and local policy.

It’s common sense. Big Tobacco has a fundamental conflict of interest when it comes to setting public health policy.  It should simply not be able to sit at the table.  It’s the same with big polluters and climate policy. Right now, they’re practically running the show — but they shouldn’t even be in the show.

We did it once with Big Tobacco, and we can do it again with big polluters. But governments need to know that people like you are demanding an end to big polluter’s influence over climate policy. Make your voice heard.  Take action now and sign the petition to kick big polluters out of climate talks.

Who is Corporate Accountability International?

Corporate Accountability International is a member-powered organization that protects human rights, public health, and the environment from corporate abuse.

Founded in 1977, the organization makes an outsized impact — as proven by its successful track record of securing lifesaving victories in the face of overwhelming power, money, and influence.

Members power the organization. You too can be part of taking on some of the world’s most powerful and abusive entities.