Archives

Tagged ‘Corporations‘

Controversial deal between US-based conservation NGOs and polluting industry slammed

By Chris Lang, 28th May 2009

Photo by AMagill on flickr.com

Last week, an organisation called Avoided Deforestation Partners launched what they blandly describe as “an agreement on policies aimed at protecting the world’s tropical forests”. Under this agreement, “companies would be eligible to receive credit for reducing climate pollution by financing conservation of tropical forests”. It is a loophole allowing industry to write a cheque and continue to pollute. This is another nightmare vision of REDD, similar to that recently proposed by the Australian government. Another similarity with Australia is the support received from what is at first glance a surprising source: big international conservation NGOs.

REDD-Monitor received the following anonymous contribution about the agreement. We reproduce it in full in the hope of generating further discussion about this liaison between conservation NGOs and polluting industry.
The following organisations signed the agreement: American Electric Power, Conservation International, Duke Energy, Environmental Defense Fund, El Paso Corporation, National Wildlife Federation, Marriott International, Mercy Corps, Natural Resources Defense Council, PG&E Corporation, Sierra Club, Starbucks Coffee Company, The Nature Conservancy, Union of Concerned Scientists, The Walt Disney Company, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Woods Hole Research Center.

The agreement is available here.

When, in years to come, the history is written of how humanity came to lose the battle against climate change, May 20th 2009 will go down as the day that the tide decisively turned against planetary survival. For this was the day that those with the influence and power who could have taken a stand of moral principle, and who could have demanded the kind of action needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US, decided not to. Instead, they offered some of the biggest, filthiest planetary polluters an ‘easy out’, by lobbying the US Congress jointly with them, that US carbon emissions should be offset against oversees credits for ‘avoided deforestation’.

Surprisingly, it was not the professional lobbyists, union leaders or government officials who demonstrated the loss of their moral compasses on May 20th. It was the big international conservation organisations who, we have all been led to believe, are supposedly looking after the planet’s wild places. In a statement issued alongside fossil fuel-burning power giants such as American Electric Power, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the conservationists – including The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defence Fund, Conservation International and Wildlife Conservation Society – called for unlimited access for ‘avoided deforestation’ carbon credits in the American Clean Energy and Security Act (also known as the Waxman/Markey bill)- thereby potentially allowing major polluters not to make significant reductions in their own emissions for many years to come. In this, they were largely reaffirming what was already included in this desperately weak piece of draft legislation.

The interests of the big US international conservation NGOs (let’s call them BINGOS) and large corporations have been converging for some years. The BINGOs have realised that the fat profits of mining, utility and financial services companies are a ready source of income for their fast expanding empires. The corporations have realised that the compliant BINGOs are potentially their best green public relations’ agencies, if paid the right amounts of money. The BINGO’s spiralling budgets have grown ever more dependent on hand-outs from the private sector, and the Boards of all the main US conservation groups are now stuffed with corporate executives.

In fairness, the statement does recognise that the rights of indigenous peoples need to be respected in REDD programmes. However, the day before the BINGO-polluter love-note was announced, the chief scientist of one of the BINGO signatories – Peter Kareiva, of the Nature Conservancy – confirmed what many indigenous people and environmentalists already knew: that “the traditional protected areas strategy has all too often trampled on people’s rights”. Kareiva also said that “The key question is to what extent have we – and by “we,” I mean the big conservation NGOs such as The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and WWF – mended our ways so that we no longer disrespect the rights of indigenous people in pursuit of our missions.” The fact that Kareiva still has to ask the question is telling in itself, in that the BINGOs have been told for many years that their anti-people approach is unacceptable and probably ultimately ineffective. TNC’s chief scientist rightly concluded that the entire protected areas strategy “warrants a critical re-examination”.

Kareiva also asked the question “Should the conservation movement be proud of the 108,000 protected areas around the world it has thus far helped establish?” Many indigenous people know the answer to that question, and it is why they remain deeply concerned and sceptical about grand international plans by conservation organisations to ‘protect’ their forests in order to supposedly prevent climate change.

Do the math, and it’s not hard to see why the BINGOs have finally sold their souls to the devil. Around 150 million hectares of tropical forests is in protected areas worldwide, much of it under the control or management of international conservation groups. Each hectare of forest contains around 100-200 tons of carbon, and each ton of carbon could be worth around $10 at the moment (and potentially much more in the future). The BINGOs know that they have a big stake in an asset potentially worth $150 billion and upwards.

But there would have to be a buyer for this asset to actually be worth anything. Step in the big fossil fuel-burning power utilities, which, like most US businesses, have been cosseted and protected from global environmental realities by eight years of the Bush administration. If there is an easy way to avoid changing their business model, of avoiding the installation of more efficient technology, or of losing market segment to renewable energy producers, they will surely take it. Avoided deforestation offsets on a grand scale – brokered by their chums in the conservation groups – would be just the ticket.

But as US environmental groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of Earth have pointed out, this is a sure route to climatic ruin. The terms of the Waxman/Markey bill as it stands – and as demanded by the BINGO-polluter axis – would allow the polluters to carry on polluting and will “lock in a new generation of dirty coal-fired power plants.”

These groups – organisations that, unlike the BINGOS, have not allowed themselves to grow bloated and complacent feasting at the teats of mammon – point out that “the American Clean Energy and Security Act sets targets for reducing pollution that are far weaker than science says is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. They are further undermined by massive loopholes that could allow the most polluting industries to avoid real emission reductions until 2027.” That is, they can largely be offset against ‘carbon credits’ bought from overseas projects, such as for putative ‘avoided deforestation’ schemes.

How has this potentially catastrophic turn of events come about? The decision-making process for the Waxman/Markey bill which will perpetuate the US’s addiction to fossil fuels was, we are told by the environmental groups “co-opted by oil and coal lobbyists”. Were the environmentalists slightly less polite, they might have added “and their trough-snouting apologists in the conservation BINGOs”.

And as we all know, where the US leads, the rest of the world tends to follow. If the Waxman/Markey bill becomes law, it is likely to set a precedent that negotiators at the Copenhagen climate summit in December will look to for inspiration.

So the May 20th statement is not just an act of egregious short-sighted greed and duplicity by the supposed conservationists; it is little more than an act of global environmental treachery. One of the coordinators of the joint statement, Jeff Horowitz of ‘Avoided Deforestation Partners’, describing the statement as a ‘landmark’, said “When environmentalists and major corporate leaders can agree, real change has come”. He is right, real change has indeed come, and it is a landmark: it marks the point that the conservation BINGOs finally abandoned any last pretence to be acting in the interests of the planet.

The gravy train may well be headed the way of the BINGOs, but the cost could be dangerous climate change that will eventually wipe out many wildlife habitats, including tropical forests. But when the good ship Mother Earth does start sinking, at least we’ll now know who should be the first to be thrown overboard.

http://www.redd-monitor.org/2009/05/28/controversial-deal-between-us-based-conservation-ngos-and-polluting-industry-slammed/

The world’s biggest corporations have highjacked the UN climate talks | New Internationalist

Taking care of business

The world’s biggest corporations have highjacked the UN climate talks. That’s bad news for our future, argues Oscar Reyes.

Exhaust destroyer! Illustration by Stephen Munday / www.threeinabox.com

December 2009 • Issue 428

A flower blooms under a floodlight. It is projected on to a huge screen, behind a panel of expensively suited executives. A CNN business correspondent struts up and down a catwalk, excitedly thanking UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the ubiquitous Al Gore. The scene of this corporate love-in? The World Business Summit on Climate Change.

‘The fact that I flew here to sit on a panel for one and a half hours, then I’m flying straight back to the US, is an example of our commitment to environmental sustainability,’ boasts Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, blissfully unaware of the irony of her statement. Her fellow industry representatives make similar claims about just how energetically they are saving the planet.

This is the new face of the climate business.

Until recently, many of the globe’s biggest corporations were firmly in the climate change denial camp – and funding spurious research to back up their claims. Now a new realism has emerged. Climate change is no longer rejected as a bogus theory the economy can ill afford. Instead, it’s a business opportunity.

Back in the days of George W Bush, the ostrich-headed faction of US industry held sway. Companies like ExxonMobil saw no profits in ‘climate solutions’, so opposed any climate legislation. Now, carbon markets – the buying and selling of the right to pollute – are at the heart of proposals for a new global deal at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen this December, and the ‘progressive’ wing of big business, backed by large US-based NGOs, argues that this market-driven approach is the only way to secure an international emissions reductions deal.

The problem is, critics say, that carbon markets are delaying genuine action on climate change, and shifting attention away from the fundamental task of rapidly phasing out fossil fuels. How did it come to this?

The ostrich position

Of course, head-in-the-sand corporate opposition to serious policy changes is still around. The US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers continue to bankroll resistance to the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act. Instead of simple climate change denial, their rhetoric now focuses on ‘threats to American competitiveness’. But according to the US-based Center for Public Integrity there were 2,340 corporate lobbyists in Washington in 2008, and a clear majority of them were pushing to weaken environmental controls.

Companies hide behind ‘trade associations’ to side-step the bad PR they might invite for opposing measures to fight climate change. The American Petroleum Institute spent considerable energy last summer stimulating fake ‘grassroots’ opposition to ACES. The Act has now been so weakened by concessions to big business that the NGO International Rivers estimates it could allow US companies to avoid actually reducing their emissions until 2026. Now, with the US climate debate bogged down in the Senate, negotiators are rapidly talking down expectations for a strong climate agreement at Copenhagen.

This is not the first time that business has had a defining impact on humanity’s attempts to get to grips with the enormous challenge of climate change. In the 1990s the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) – a front group for 50 major oil, coal, auto and chemical corporations and trade associations – played a key role in delaying and weakening international climate agreements, mainly by pressuring US politicians.

The GCC successfully lobbied Washington to ensure that no binding targets were included in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, agreed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It also promoted a 1997 Senate resolution where US legislators expressed unanimous opposition to legally binding greenhouse gas reductions unless developing countries (responsible for a fraction of the current and historical emissions) adopted the same rules.

Al Gore, the US chief negotiator at the time, took this message to the UN climate negotiations and ‘demanded a series of loopholes [in the Kyoto Protocol] big enough to drive a Hummer through,’ as British journalist George Monbiot put it. Gore insisted on a new carbon offset scheme, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Northern companies could avoid having to curb their own pollution by buying ‘emissions reductions’ from the Global South. Larry Lohmann, of the UK advocacy group The Corner House, recalls: ‘Kyoto was written, largely by the US, as a treaty friendly to big business. Companies like Enron, which as an energy trader was well placed to make profits from carbon trading, were happy about Kyoto and wanted the US to be part of it.’

Carbon trade-offs

When the Kyoto Protocol was agreed in December 1997, John Palmisano, Enron’s senior director for environmental policy, celebrated an agreement that was full of ‘immediate business opportunities’. Twelve years later, the carbon trading market is worth over $100 billion.

One often-repeated claim is that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are equivalent wherever they take place – which is only true up to a point. It is worth stressing that offsets are not reductions. In practice, ‘offsetting’ allows generous subsidies for existing technologies to mop up industrial gases, rather than stimulating the speedy shift toward the low carbon world we desperately need. As of September 2009, three-quarters of the offset credits being traded had nothing to do with CO2 reductions. Instead, they were for large firms, operating in developing countries, making minor technical adjustments to eliminate HFCs (refrigerant gases) and N2O (a by-product of synthetic fibre production). Corporations and governments in the North then buy these credits to avoid taking action domestically.

This flawed assumption – that the market can effectively drive the transition to more sustainable models of development – also underlies one of the major new initiatives on the table for agreement at Copenhagen: the proposal to curb deforestation, known as REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation).

A new realism has emerged. Climate change is no longer rejected as a bogus theory the economy can ill afford. Instead, it’s a business opportunity

Deforestation is responsible for around 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But REDD assumes that this is because intact forests have no dollar value attached to them; they’re worth less than forests that are cut down. So the solution is to put a price tag on standing forests, and allow countries and companies to trade in the amorphous concept of ‘avoided emissions’.

Yet forest communities and indigenous peoples are deeply opposed. They warn that treating forests merely as carbon stores, the rights to which can be bought and sold on the international markets, will further erode their land rights, despite the fact that they are the most effective stewards and protectors of forests, when left in peace to play this role. What REDD is doing, they argue, is financially rewarding the owners of the major construction, mining, logging and plantation developments that are the real drivers of deforestation.

The financial sector’s main interest in the new climate deal is that it will deliver bigger and more lucrative carbon markets. As Tracy Wolstencroft, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, told the World Business Summit, carbon trading now encompasses ‘some of the largest emerging markets in the world’.

This rapid growth has already spawned more complex markets where carbon credits are bundled together, then sliced up and resold – similar to the structures that brought the derivatives market to its knees during the recent financial crisis. It is dangerous for the same reason: carbon markets sell a product that has no tangible underlying asset – fertile conditions for the creation of a new ‘bubble’. Traders don’t know exactly what they are selling. And it becomes increasingly meaningless to talk about emissions reductions since what is ‘reduced’ on paper is so far removed from any measurable change in industrial practice or energy production. Speculation has become an end in itself. Meanwhile, emissions continue to rise.

‘Let the market play’

These developments are not simply the work of business lobbyists, however. Governments have created a favourable regulatory climate which assumes that markets know best. ‘Our role is to keep the regulatory structure as simple as possible and let the market play,’ says Jos Delbeke, Deputy Director-General for the Environment at the European Commission. Delbeke has for several years been the EU’s chief climate negotiator. He was a key player in developing the EU Emissions Trading Scheme which has allowed ‘the market to play’ by gifting large amounts of free credits to major polluters and setting too generous a cap on the total amount of emissions. So, as a consequence, there has been no overall reduction in greenhouse gases, but vast windfall profits have been generated for some of the EU’s most carbon-intensive companies.

Professor Matthew Patterson, co-author of forthcoming book Climate Capitalism, characterizes such an approach as the internalization of corporate interest by public decision-makers. ‘I think the best way to think of corporate influence is in terms of structural power rather than directly observable influence,’ he says. ‘Governments internalize the interests of powerful businesses and act to promote those interests (even unconsciously).’

Other academics talk of a revolving door between governments, corporations and the large, pro-business NGOs. Take the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), probably the largest lobby group at the UN climate talks. IETA’s CEO, Henry Derwent, was previously head of climate policy for the British Government and a special adviser to the G8 in 2005: a good choice to represent corporate interests in shaping the principles of a post-2012 agreement.

With billions at stake, there are numerous CEO-led initiatives to set the global agenda by lobbying national governments (see Hall of blame, above). The pressure is relentless. James Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, remarking on the frequency of his lobby visits to Capitol Hill says: ‘My hotel doorman in Washington greets me more regularly than my dog.’

More typically though, corporate leaders, and even the names of the companies they represent, are protected from exposure by faceless industry associations, operating at national, regional and global levels. The same lobbyists often juggle multiple hats. Take Nick Campbell, climate lobbyist for Arkema (oil giant Total’s chemical business). Campbell doubles up as head of the climate change working groups of CEFIC (the European chemical association), Business Europe (the general European business platform), and the International Chamber of Commerce (a global corporate lobby platform).

‘Basically the climate message of those groups is the same, they just act at different levels,’ says Belén Balanyá of Corporate Europe Observatory.

As Copenhagen approaches, a confusing mass of negotiating texts remain on the table – while outside the conference rooms, existing legislation and new pilot projects are being primed to take advantage of any new business opportunities. The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that ‘scores of carbon traders… have been active in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia trying to sign up landowners for not-yet-agreed REDD schemes’. Meanwhile, in Bangkok the Clean Development Mechanism Board approved a new measure last October to help biodiesel production count as an ‘offset’ – despite evidence that its expansion contributes to deforestation.

At the negotiating table both the EU and US have been working to redefine the role that public finance could play in any new deal. Jonathan Pershing – head of the US delegation at recent UN climate talks in Bonn – advocates ‘changing the debate’. Public money, he argues, should no longer be regarded as a means of helping Majority World countries adapt to climate change or to mitigate its worst effects, but as a ‘catalyst’ for private gain. Anders Turesson, chief climate negotiator for Sweden and chair of the EU Group, echoed this message, suggesting that public funds should be a ‘lubricant’ for private sector investments.

Critics agree that carbon markets could yield significant profits. But they could also end up making climate change worse – by perpetuating the failed economic and industrial models that helped create the problem in the first place, and delaying a rapid transition to a more climate-friendly future.

So what should concerned citizens do about all this? It’s clear that we need to rethink and restructure energy production, industry and agriculture in ways that rediscover and promote local knowledge. But policy changes alone will not be enough. Above all, we need to get organized politically. To roll back the advance of the nouveau-green chief executives there are no short cuts, because the struggle against climate change is part of a much larger fight: for a more just, democratic and equal world.

Hall of blame

A who’s who of corporate lobbyists at the UN climate talks

International Emissions Trading Association

Largest corporate lobby group at UN climate negotiations – it brought 250 business representatives to the talks in 2008. Leading the push for the expansion of carbon markets to include forests, agriculture, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) – technology to neutralize the climate impact of fossil fuels that will not be viable for many years.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

Grandfather of corporate environmentalism, active on climate issues since the Rio Earth Summit. Main focus has been to avoid regulation and taxes.

World Business Council on Sustainable Development

‘CEO-led coalition’ of over 200 companies created in 1991 to lobby the Rio Earth Summit.

World Economic Forum

Hosts its own Climate Change Initiative.

Project Catalyst

Initiative of the non-profit ClimateWorks Foundation which draws heavily on research by consultancy firm McKinsey. Although it claims to be a ‘neutral adviser’ it emphasizes that a majority of ‘emissions savings’ before 2020 should be made in the Global South, creating business opportunities for large corporations.

3C (Combat Climate Change)

Initiative of CEOs of major companies, hosted by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall. Pushing proposals for a global carbon market and for the ‘streamlining’ (ie relaxing of already weak environmental checks) of carbon market rules.

The Climate Group

Non-profit organization whose members include some of the world’s largest corporations. Task force working on the climate agreement, led by former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Oscar Reyes is a researcher with Carbon Trade Watch, a project of the Transnational Institute, and co-author of Carbon Trading: how it works and why it fails (Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, 2009).

http://www.newint.org/features/2009/12/01/corporate-influence/

Our Response to TckTckTck (Now Known as GCCA) & all Partners – March 1st, 2010

Update – Shortly after we sent this out to the GCCA list (on March 1st, 2010) – the  partner link to ”The Corporate Leader Group on Climate Change’ was removed from the www.tcktcktck.org website.  The screenshot, showing the partner listed in the site can be found below.  This does not mean that the partnership no longer exists – simply that the partnership is no longer shown on the website.

As of March 14th, 2010 – we have received no correspondence that would indicate this partnership between ‘The Corporate Leader Group on Climate Change’ and www.tcktcktck.org has been terminated.

From: Canadians for Action on Climate Change [mailto:canadiansforactiononclimatechange@bell.net]
Sent: March-01-10 9:29 AM
To: ‘gccaall@googlegroups.com’; ‘Ben Margolis’; ‘Kelly Rigg’
Cc: ‘Global Compliance’
Subject:RE: Response; relevant information for partners of tcktcktck

Dear Ben,

Given that you have indicated in your message received this morning that you will not be fulfilling the previous commitment to share our response with partners, as indicated in to your letter written to us on February 25th, 2010; “We will also send this note to our partners and may wish to share with them any response you send to us.”, we have undertaken to share our response with your partners.  Our response will be sent in its original form (found below your response from this morning – sent to you on the 26th).

Regards,

Cory Morningstar

Joan Russow

globalcomplianceresearch@gmail.com

—–Original Message—–
From: Ben Margolis [mailto:bengcca@googlemail.com]
Sent: March-01-10 6:20 AM
To: Canadians for Action on Climate Change
Cc: Kelly Rigg
Subject: Re: Response

Dear Cory Morningstar,

Thank you for your comments. Every GCCA partner was provided with information when they asked to join the coalition including our call to action and campaign asks, and were asked to provide us with a logo

and URL to be listed on our web site. Over 250 organizations have chosen to do this, and currently many more are looking to join.

We are in regular contact with all of our partners, and if any of them raises concerns about our policy demands, or other aspects of our collaborative work, we will discuss this with them directly.

Yours

Ben Margolis


From: Canadians for Action on Climate Change [mailto:canadiansforactiononclimatechange@bell.net]
Sent: February-26-10 9:01 PM
To: ‘Ben Margolis’
Cc: ‘GlobalComplianceResearch@gmail.com’
Subject:Response

Dear tcktcktck.org – GCCA,

We appreciate your agreeing to circulate our response. We reply as follows;

Tcktcktck monopolizing the dialogue at COP15 and undermining COP15

At COP15 the tcktcktck.org campaign monopolized the NGO response to climate change, and either intentionally or unintentionally, undermined other NGOs, and the developing countries that were demanding more.  Tcktcktck.org, through its listing of NGOs as partners, some of which now claim they had never agreed to be listed as partners, gave a skewed sense of support for the weak demands of the tcktcktck.org campaign. The tcktcktck.org dominance, either intentionally or unintentionally, eviscerated NGO activism and consequently influenced the weak outcome of COP15. Whether it was intentional or unintentional, the organizers of the tcktcktck.org campaign were grossly negligent.

Targets

AT COP15, one of the major demands of the developing states was to call upon the developed states to both commit to strong reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, and to stabilize the rise in temperature. Many developing states called for the rise in temperature to be well below 1.5°C, and a number of developing states were calling for the temperature to not exceed 1°C from pre-industrial levels. Furthermore, most developing states called for the ppm to return to below 350ppm, and a number of developing states called for ppm to 300ppm. The tcktcktck.org campaign that dominated the discussion was completely out of sync with the strong demands of most developing states.

On the www.tcktcktck.org/partners website, there was a list of over 200 NGOs who were described as partners. A survey was initiated (ANNEX-attached in word) and sent to some of the NGO partners. The purpose of the survey was to determine whether the partners were aware of the tcktcktck.org campaign’s corporate connections, and whether the partners were also aware of the inadequate targets advanced by the tcktcktck.org campaign. In the survey, it was pointed out that tcktcktck.org had failed to use a baseline when they called for developed states to reduce emissions by 40% by 2020. The spokesperson for tcktcktck.org, Ben Margolis, Campaign Director for ‘Global Campaign for Climate Action’ wrote a letter to the authors of the survey and acknowledged the following;

“You also note that the policy positions stated on the www.tcktcktck.org web site failed to mention a baseline year for emissions reductions. We would like to thank you for pointing out this omission. There has always been an implicit recognition that we were referring to 1990 levels (as can be seen in the more detailed publications of our partner organizations). We have now amended the clause explicitly to read reduce developed country emissions by at least 40% on 1990 levels by 2020.”

The spokesperson for tcktcktck.org now intimates that the listed partner NGOs and the global community should have been able to understand that, even though 1990 was left out, it was meant to be included. However, the question remains, how could over 200 NGOs listed on the tcktcktck.org website have agreed to exclude the 1990 baseline, because everyone was supposed to know that it was understood [even though the US was using 2005, and Canada was using 2006 as baselines].  Or, was a baseline excluded without the knowledge and consent of the partners, and thus, were they unaware of the absence of a baseline? Even worse, were the partners aware and complicit in omitting the baseline?  Were the partners involved in building a consensus of necessary targets based on the current science, or was the omission of the baseline decided on their behalf?  It seems unbelievable that all NGOs partners listed on the tcktcktck.org website would have been supportive of such weak demands.

Furthermore, on the tcktcktck.org site it states;

“TckTckTck is an unprecedented global alliance, representing hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life, who are united by a desire to see a strong global deal on climate change.”

 

Surely the leaders of a campaign which presents itself as representing hundreds of millions of people, and which thereby also sees itself as speaking for hundreds of millions of people must recognize the incredible responsibility such a statement implies. In assuming their self-appointed role, the leaders of tcktcktck.org demonstrated dereliction of duty in not advancing the targets necessary to ensure survival; the moral imperative to demand that the temperature not exceed 1°C.

Corporate Ties

In your response, you did not indicate whether the NGO partners of tcktcktck.org were made aware that they would be promoting a logo which was copywritten by PR firms Havas and Euro and, if the NGOs were made aware of the implications of being associated with PR firm clients such as those in the nuclear, biotech, biofuel, oil, etc. industries.

 

We still have grave concerns about the tcktcktck.org campaign / campaigns, as now being presented under the parent coalition name, the GCCA, and the Global Humanitarian Forum.  We would like to, at this time, direct your attention to the following items below. The items refer to The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change – presently listed on your website as a partner. http://tcktcktck.org/partners/our-partners/more-partners

 

The attachments are as follows; if you open them in the order as they appear below, you can follow the links as they appear on the tcktcktck.org website;

 

http://tcktcktck.org/partners/our-partners/more-partners

A way forward

To rectify the irreversible damage caused by the undermining of the strong resolve of many NGOs and developing states to seriously maintain the rise in temperature below 1°C and the ppm to return to 300 ppm, the tcktcktck.org campaign must apologize to the partner NGOs that may not have wished to be listed as partners, or may not have wished to be associated with weak demands.

Regards,

Cory Morningstar | Canadians for Action on Climate Change
Joan Russow – PhD | | Global Compliance Research Project

“Our objective is to save humanity and not just half of humanity. We are here to save mother earth. Our objective is to reduce climate change to [under] 1°C. [above this] many islands will disappear and Africa will suffer a holocaust. The real cause of climate change is the capitalist system. If we want to save the earth then we must end that economic model. Capitalism wants to address climate change with carbon markets. We denounce those markets and the countries which [promote them]. It’s time to stop making money from the disgrace that they have perpetrated.”

Evo Morales, December 16th, 2010, Copenhagen Climate Summit

See all signatories here:

tcktcktck-current-copenhagen-communique-signatories-clg

The survey we sent to many TckTckTck partners:

To partners and allies of the TckTckTck Campaign

Our Response from TckTckTck (GCCA) Received March 1st, 2010

—–Original Message—–
From: Ben Margolis [mailto:bengcca@googlemail.com]
Sent: March-01-10 6:20 AM
To: Canadians for Action on Climate Change
Cc: Kelly Rigg
Subject: Re: Response

Dear Cory Morningstar,

Thank you for your comments. Every GCCA partner was provided with

information when they asked to join the coalition including our call

to action and campaign asks, and were asked to provide us with a logo

and URL to be listed on our web site. Over 250 organizations have

chosen to do this, and currently many more are looking to join.

We are in regular contact with all of our partners, and if any of them

raises concerns about our policy demands, or other aspects of our

collaborative work, we will discuss this with them directly.

Yours

Ben Margolis

Campaigns Director

Global Campaign for Climate Action

Ben Margolis

Global Campaign for Climate Action

Campaigns Director

UK: +44 (0) 7786 660 406

Skype: benmargolis

E-mail: ben.margolis@tcktcktck.org

Our Response to TckTckTck (GCCA) – February 26th, 2010


From: Canadians for Action on Climate Change [mailto:canadiansforactiononclimatechange@bell.net]
Sent: February-26-10 9:01 PM
To: ‘Ben Margolis’
Cc: ‘GlobalComplianceResearch@gmail.com’
Subject: Response

Dear tcktcktck.org – GCCA,

We appreciate your agreeing to circulate our response. We reply as follows;

Tcktcktck monopolizing the dialogue at COP15 and undermining COP15

At COP15 the tcktcktck.org campaign monopolized the NGO response to climate change, and either intentionally or unintentionally, undermined other NGOs, and the developing countries that were demanding more.  Tcktcktck.org, through its listing of NGOs as partners, some of which now claim they had never agreed to be listed as partners, gave a skewed sense of support for the weak demands of the tcktcktck.org campaign. The tcktcktck.org dominance, either intentionally or unintentionally, eviscerated NGO activism and consequently influenced the weak outcome of COP15. Whether it was intentional or unintentional, the organizers of the tcktcktck.org campaign were grossly negligent.

Targets

AT COP15, one of the major demands of the developing states was to call upon the developed states to both commit to strong reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, and to stabilize the rise in temperature. Many developing states called for the rise in temperature to be well below 1.5°C, and a number of developing states were calling for the temperature to not exceed 1°C from pre-industrial levels. Furthermore, most developing states called for the ppm to return to below 350ppm, and a number of developing states called for ppm to 300ppm. The tcktcktck.org campaign that dominated the discussion was completely out of sync with the strong demands of most developing states.

On the www.tcktcktck.org/partners website, there was a list of over 200 NGOs who were described as partners. A survey was initiated (ANNEX-attached in word) and sent to some of the NGO partners. The purpose of the survey was to determine whether the partners were aware of the tcktcktck.org campaign’s corporate connections, and whether the partners were also aware of the inadequate targets advanced by the tcktcktck.org campaign. In the survey, it was pointed out that tcktcktck.org had failed to use a baseline when they called for developed states to reduce emissions by 40% by 2020. The spokesperson for tcktcktck.org, Ben Margolis, Campaign Director for ‘Global Campaign for Climate Action’ wrote a letter to the authors of the survey and acknowledged the following;

“You also note that the policy positions stated on the www.tcktcktck.org web site failed to mention a baseline year for emissions reductions. We would like to thank you for pointing out this omission. There has always been an implicit recognition that we were referring to 1990 levels (as can be seen in the more detailed publications of our partner organizations). We have now amended the clause explicitly to read reduce developed country emissions by at least 40% on 1990 levels by 2020.”

The spokesperson for tcktcktck.org now intimates that the listed partner NGOs and the global community should have been able to understand that, even though 1990 was left out, it was meant to be included. However, the question remains, how could over 200 NGOs listed on the tcktcktck.org website have agreed to exclude the 1990 baseline, because everyone was supposed to know that it was understood [even though the US was using 2005, and Canada was using 2006 as baselines].  Or, was a baseline excluded without the knowledge and consent of the partners, and thus, were they unaware of the absence of a baseline? Even worse, were the partners aware and complicit in omitting the baseline?  Were the partners involved in building a consensus of necessary targets based on the current science, or was the omission of the baseline decided on their behalf?  It seems unbelievable that all NGOs partners listed on the tcktcktck.org website would have been supportive of such weak demands.

Furthermore, on the tcktcktck.org site it states;

“TckTckTck is an unprecedented global alliance, representing hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life, who are united by a desire to see a strong global deal on climate change.”

Surely the leaders of a campaign which presents itself as representing hundreds of millions of people, and which thereby also sees itself as speaking for hundreds of millions of people must recognize the incredible responsibility such a statement implies. In assuming their self-appointed role, the leaders of tcktcktck.org demonstrated dereliction of duty in not advancing the targets necessary to ensure survival; the moral imperative to demand that the temperature not exceed 1°C.

Corporate Ties

In your response, you did not indicate whether the NGO partners of tcktcktck.org were made aware that they would be promoting a logo which was copywritten by PR firms Havas and Euro and, if the NGOs were made aware of the implications of being associated with PR firm clients such as those in the nuclear, biotech, biofuel, oil, etc. industries.

We still have grave concerns about the tcktcktck.org campaign / campaigns, as now being presented under the parent coalition name, the GCCA, and the Global Humanitarian Forum.  We would like to, at this time, direct your attention to the following items below. The items refer to The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change – presently listed on your website as a partner. http://tcktcktck.org/partners/our-partners/more-partners

The attachments are as follows; if you open them in the order as they appear below, you can follow the links as they appear on the tcktcktck.org website;

http://tcktcktck.org/partners/our-partners/more-partners

A way forward

To rectify the irreversible damage caused by the undermining of the strong resolve of many NGOs and developing states to seriously maintain the rise in temperature below 1°C and the ppm to return to 300 ppm, the tcktcktck.org campaign must apologize to the partner NGOs that may not have wished to be listed as partners, or may not have wished to be associated with weak demands.

Regards,

Cory Morningstar | Canadians for Action on Climate Change
Joan Russow – PhD | | Global Compliance Research Project

“Our objective is to save humanity and not just half of humanity. We are here to save mother earth. Our objective is to reduce climate change to [under] 1°C. [above this] many islands will disappear and Africa will suffer a holocaust. The real cause of climate change is the capitalist system. If we want to save the earth then we must end that economic model. Capitalism wants to address climate change with carbon markets. We denounce those markets and the countries which [promote them]. It’s time to stop making money from the disgrace that they have perpetrated.”

Evo Morales, December 16th, 2010, Copenhagen Climate Summit

tcktcktck-current-copenhagen-communique-signatories-clg

To partners and allies of the TckTckTck Campaign

Letter from TckTckTck (GCCA) to GCCA Partners – February 25th, 2010

Letter from TckTckTck

—–Original Message—–
From: gccaall@googlegroups.com [mailto:gccaall@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Ben Margolis
Sent: February-25-10 2:58 AM
To: gccaall@googlegroups.com
Subject: [gccaall] Response to TckTckTck survey

Dear GCCA partner,

Many of you have recently received a survey that raises concerns about

the GCCA and the TckTckTck campaign, particularly with regard to

corporate support, backing and control. As you are aware, the GCCA has

a strict policy to not accept any corporate partners, although we do

recognize the vital role that some corporations have to play in

preventing catastrophic climate change.

In response to this survey, and to recent blog posts by the same

author, the GCCA secretariat has written to the author this morning

with a letter to clarify the situation. The letter is attached here

for your information. We would ask that you do not circulate this

letter widely.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further

questions.

Yours,

Ben Margolis

TckTckTck Partner: ‘Corporate Leaders’ Group on Climate Change’ – The business of climate change

and remember … if you sleep with dogs, you’re going to get ticks … tcktcktck …

The business of climate change

14 December, 2009 – 19:01

The Business of Climate Change was up for debate at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen on Thursday with a question and answer discussion run by the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders’ Group on Climate Change.

The Group – which includes big polluters like Shell and Cemex – has launched its own, surprisingly tough call for a Copenhagen deal (the Copenhagen Communique) – which is supported by some 900 companies from around the world.

Companies including BASF, Bayer, Dong Energy,  EON, British Airways and BP have backed the call for “immediate and deep emission reduction commitments”, tougher regulation (“because a strong carbon price alone will not be enough to deliver the level and nature of change required”) and “efficient and equitable emissions reductions”.

What is perhaps less surprising is that some of these very same companies are voicing far less constructive demands elsewhere.

Take for example Angry Mermaid nominee Shell – this oil and gas company which recently pulled out of renewables and is poised to develop tar sands projects in Canada, also belongs to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which is promoting voluntary solutions, not legally binding regulations.

German chemical giant BASF is a member of BusinessEurope – the EU lobby group which sent a letter to the EU Commission President Barroso at the start of the UN climate talks urging them not to adopt a 30% target. BASF is also a member of the European Chemical Industry lobby group (CEFIC) – another Angry Mermaid nominee – which is also lobbying against increased emission reduction commitments.

To be fair, some of the Climate Leaders appear to take a more progressive approach – but companies like Shell seem to be using them as a front group – or even as a platform from where they can push their ever-growing demands for more public subsidies for carbon capture and storage – allowing them to carry on polluting as usual til 2020 and beyond.

http://www.corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/blog/helen/2009/12/14/business-climate-change