EU, Australia, New Zealand, Norway: Stop blocking a conflict-of-interest policy at the UNFCCC. Kick Big Polluters Out!

June 17, 2019

To:
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
Her Excellency Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway
The Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, New Zealand
His Excellency Scott Morrison, Prime Minister, Australia

Cc:
Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, European Union
Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
The Honourable James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change, New Zealand
The Honourable Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, Australia

17 June, 2019

Dear Mr. Juncker, Ms. Solberg, Ms. Ardern, and Mr. Morrison:

We, the undersigned 300 civil society organizations and networks, represent hundreds of thousands of people around the world. We stand in solidarity with Global South communities and governments fighting for just climate policy and real solutions. We are writing to demand that you stop siding with the interests of the likes of the United States and Big Polluters in blocking the development of a conflict-of-interest policy at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

People are paying for the climate crisis with their lives and livelihoods. We experience the deadly consequences of a rapidly warming planet daily. The need for strong policy and just action could not be more urgent.

Yet for decades, the very corporations that have fueled the climate crisis have spent billions of dollars to water down and weaken progress at every turn, deploying a vast array of trade associations and front groups to mislead the public, discredit climate science, and block meaningful climate policy within the UNFCCC and elsewhere. Though they present themselves as part of the “solution,” their actions have illustrated time and again that they represent their own profiteering interests. This is as true now as it ever has been. For example, in the three years following the Paris Agreement, the five largest public oil and gas corporations spent more than US$1 billion on misleading branding and lobbying on climate.[i]

Enough is enough.

It’s time to scale up and implement the people-centered climate policy and just solutions that Global South communities, Indigenous leaders, low-income communities, and people of color around the world have been developing and advocating for years. To do this we must remove the conflicting interests of polluting industries—most notably the fossil fuel industry—that continue to be a primary obstacle to progress.

From June 17 to 27, your negotiators gathering in Bonn, Germany at the intersessional meeting of the UNFCCC can and must embody true climate leadership. We urge you to stop working hand in hand with Big Polluters like fossil fuel corporations and the climate-change-denying Trump administration, among others. Rather, within the negotiations on Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings (AIM), your government negotiators must acknowledge the repeated requests of governments representing the majority of the world’s population and advance an effective conflict-of-interest policy to protect against polluting industries’ vested interests in the talks.

The public mandate is clear. Over recent years, more than 400 civil society groups,[ii] nearly 650,000 people,[iii] and governments collectively representing 70% of the world’s population have called for addressing this fundamental roadblock. Yet your treaty negotiators have refused to heed the call, at best conveniently overlooking it and at worst advancing the same agenda as that of the U.S. and the Trump administration, among others.

The European Union, for example, has ignored a formal request from its own democratically elected Parliament to support tackling this issue.[iv] And last year at these negotiations, treaty negotiators from your countries allowed the United States to yet again sabotage global climate diplomacy, blocking any attempt to address conflicts of interest within the AIM negotiations.[v]

True climate leadership means rejecting fossil fuel industry agendas in whatever form they take. It means standing with people all over the world who are bringing forward meaningful, just solutions to the climate crisis.[vi] It means taking the urgent, just, necessary action we need right now and rejecting the dangerous distractions put forward by the very corporations that have fueled this crisis. All this begins with protecting climate policy by passing a robust conflict-of-interest policy that will protect climate policymaking at the UNFCCC from the undue influence of polluting industries.

The eyes of the world are on Bonn, and people everywhere are awaiting your climate leadership. We urge you to stop blocking an effective conflict-of-interest policy at the UNFCCC.

Sincerely,

198methods.org

350 Aotearoa

350 Mass for a Better Future

350 Silicon Valley

350.org

350.org Australia

A Sud – Ecologia e Cooperazione

Abibiman Foundation

Aclimatando

Action on Smoking and Health

ActionAid International

Agro-ecologie et Environnement Vert

Al-Haq

Aliança RECOs – Redes de Cooperação Comunitária Sem Fronteiras

Alianza para la Prevención y Control de Enfermedades No Transmisibles

All Nepal Peasants’ Federation

Alliance for Tax and Fiscal Justice Nepal

Alyansa Tigil Mina

Amazon Watch

Amis de la Terre France / Friends of the Earth France

Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET

APTA – Asociación para la Prevención del Tabaquismo en Aragón

Around the Corner Capital

Asamblea Socioambiental de General ROCA

La Asamblea Veracruzana de Iniciativas y Defensa Ambiental

ASEDUCA (Asociación de Estudiantes de Derecho UCA)

Asha Parivar

Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development

Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad

Asociación Civil Centro de Cultura Popular Labor

Asociación Colombiana de Salud Pública

Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos

Asociación Morelense de Lucha contra el Cáncer A C

Association de Citoyenneté et de Développement Durable (AC2D)

Association for Rural Social Welfare Nepal (ARSOW Nepal)

Association Workshop for All Beings (Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot)

Athenaeum LLC

Attac France

Attac Norway

Attac Spain

The Australian Forests and Climate Alliance

Aytzim: Ecological Judaism

Bangladesh Environment Network

Bank Information Center Europe

Bienaventurados los Pobres – Be.Pe

Berliner Wassertisch

Bisbee & Cochise County People for Community & Environmental Rights

Boston Climate Action Network (BCAN)

Brazilian Decolonial Network

Breathe Easy Susquehanna County

Bretton Woods Project

Bucks Environmental Action

Bürgerinitiative Gesundheit und Klimaschutz Unterelbe

Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt

Climate Action Network Tanzania

Carbon Market Watch

Centar za životnu sredinu/ Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Environmental Justice

Centro de Investigación para la Epidemia del Tabaquismo

Change Partnership

Chile Libre de Tabaco

Citizens for Sanity

CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network)

ClientEarth

Climate Action Coalition Bulgaria

Climate Action Monaro

Climate and Development Lab

Climate-Change Balmain-Rozelle

Climate Coalition

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Hawks Vote

Climate Justice Edmonton

CliMates

CNCD-11.11.11

CNS (Citizen News Service)

Coalición ContraPESO

Coalición México Salud-Hable

Coalition to Protect New York

COAST/EquityBD

Colectivo El Torito AC

Colectivo VientoSur

Collectif 07 Stop Gaz de Schiste

Comisión Ética Contra la Tortura Chile

Comisión Nacional Permanente de Lucha Antitabáquica – COLAT

Community and Family Aid Foundation – Ghana

Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive

Coordination Climat Justice Sociale

COPACO (Confédération paysanne du Congo)

Corporación La Caleta

Corporate Accountability

Corporate Europe Observatory

Counter Balance

Debt Observatory in Globalisation (ODG)

The Democracy Center

Den Haag Fossielvrij

Earth Action, Inc.

EarthRights International

Ecologistas en Acción

EcoNexus

Educar Consumidores

Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO)

Earth in Brackets

EKOenergy

Ekologistak Martxan Bizkaia

Elmirans and Friends Against Fracking

EMPOWER INDIA

Energy and Climate Policy Institute for Just Transition

Engajamundo

Environmental Rights Action

Equity and Justice Working Group (EquityBD) Bangladesh

ETC Group

Fältbiologerna (Nature and Youth Sweden)

Farmworker Association of Florida

Fern

FIC Argentina

Food & Water Europe

Food Chain Workers Alliance

Fossielvrij Onderwijs

Foundation for the Conservation of the Earth (FOCONE)

Frack Free Lancashire

Frack Free United

Fracking Free Clare

Franciscan Action Network

Frente Amplio por el Medio Ambiente

Fresh Eyes – People to People Travel

FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio

Friends of the Earth Brisbane

Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Friends of the Earth Finland

Friends of the Earth International

Friends of the Earth US

Fund for Democratic Communities

Fundación Anáas

Fundación Ellen Riegner de Casas

Fundación Madariaga

Fundacja Rozwój TAK – Odkrywki NIE

FUNDEPS

Gatef

Gender Action

Global Forest Coalition

Global Justice Now

Global Witness

GoiEner S.Coop

GRAIN

Gram Bharati Samiti (GBS)

Grassroots Global Justice

Green Course

Green Liberal Democrats (UK)

Green Newton

Green Scenery

Green Thought Association

Greenpeace

Greenvest

Group of Scientists and Engineers for a Sustainable Energy Future Without Nuclear Power

Grüne Bildungswerkstatt NÖ

Grupo de Estudios Ambientales AC

Hawaii Institute for Human Rights

HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance

Healthy Gulf

CLAS – Coalición Latinoamérica Saludable

Heinrich Boell Foundation Washington DC

Highlander Research & Education Center

Humanitaire Plus (TOGO)

IAHPE – International Association for Health Policy in Europe

IFOAM-Organics International

Indian Social Action Forum

Indigenous Environmental Network

Indivisible

Ingenjörer för Miljön

Institute for Policy Studies – Climate Justice Program

Instituto de Ecología Política

Instituto Superior de Agronomia

InterAmerican Heart Foundation

International Fellowship of Reconciliation Austria

JA (Justicia Ambiental)

Jagaran Nepal

Jamaa Resource Initiatives, Kenya

Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement

Jewish Climate Action Network – MA

Jordens Vänner/Friends of the Earth, Sweden

Khpal Kore Organization

KOTHOWAIN (Vulnerable People’s Development Organization)

Latinamerikagrupperna

Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network

Lobbywatch

Lok Rajniti Manch (People’s Politics Front)

Manushya Foundation

Mass Interfaith Worker Justice

Media Alliance

Mesa Colombiana de Incidencia por las Enfermedades Crónicas

Migrant Forum in Asia

Milieudefensie

Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights

Mom Loves Taiwan Association

Movement for Advancing Understanding Sustainability & Mutuality

Movimento NoTAP

Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático (MOCICC)

National Alliance for Human Rights and Social Justice, Nepal

National Campaign for Sustainable Development – Nepal

National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women

National Hawker Federation – India

National Toxics Network

Natur og Ungdom/Young Friends of the Earth Norway

Navdanya International

NCD Alliance

NeSoVe / Network Social Responsibility

NET Africa (Natural Environment Technology in Africa)

New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN)

NGO Forum on ADB

Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association

Nofumadores.org

North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE)

Not Here, Not Anywhere Ireland

Notre Affaire à Tous

NSC – Friends of the Earth Hungary

Nuclear Information and Resource Service

The Oakland Institute

Observatorio Universitario de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional del Estado de Guanajuato

Oil Change International

ONG SANA

Orchard City Indivisible

Organic Consumers Association

Oriang Philippines

OVEC – Ohio Valley Environmental Coaliton

Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum

Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)

Parramatta Climate Action Network

People for a Healthy Environment

Peterborough Pollinators

Permacultura Río Puelo NGO

Philippine Movement for Climate Justice

Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climático

Plataforma Ciudadana Zaragoza sin Fractura

Plataforma por la Alimentación Saludable. Peru

El Poder del Consumidor A.C.

Polaris Institute

Polish Ecological Club Mazovian Branch

Practical Action

Progressive Power Lab

Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER).

Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (ProDESC)

PUSH Sweden

Red Nacional de Agricultura Familiar – RENAF

Red Nacional Antitabaco

Renewable Energy Alliance Lancashire

Renewables Now Loveland

Roseacre Awareness Group

Rural Women’s Association – Alga

SAFE – Safe Food Advocacy Europe

Sahabat Alam Malaysia

Salud Justa Mx

Sanlakas Philippines

Sciences Citoyennes

SEE Change Network

SEED of SW New Mexico

Share The World’s Resources

Sisters of Charity Federation

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Slow Food Mexico

Solidaritas Perempuan

Stamp Out Poverty

StoriesLive.org

SustainUS

Swiss Youth for Climate

Talk Fracking

Tanzania Organization for Agricultural Development (TOfAD)

Te Ara Whatu

Third World Network

Toxics Action Center

TRADENER (Trantsizio Energetikoa eta Demokrazia)

Transnational Institute

Trinity Foundation

TTIP Network Finland

UDAPT (Unión de Afectados y Afectadas por las Operaciones Petroleras de Texaco)

UDYAMA

Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development

UK Youth Climate Coalition

UKSCN (UK Student Climate Network)

United Mission to Nepal

Universidad Austral de Chile Instituto de Conservación Biodiversidad y Territorio

Upper Valley Affinity Group (Vermont)

Urgewald

Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC)

Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG)

Viernes por el Futuro Santiago (Fridays for Future Santiago)

Virginia Interfaith Power & Light

Vision for Alternative Development

War on Want

WomanHealth Philippines

WoMin African Alliance

World Public Health Nutrition Association

Xun Biosphere Project

Young Friends of the Earth Scotland

Youth Action Hub Guinea – CNUCED

Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation)

Youth On Board

Zapatas de Chile

 

[i] InfluenceMap. “Big Oil’s Real Agenda on Climate Change.” Influence Map. March 2019. Accessed June 05, 2019. https://influencemap.org/report/How-Big-Oil-Continues-to-Oppose-the-Paris-Agreement-38212275958aa21196dae3b76220bddc.

[ii] “The People’s Demands for Climate Justice.” The People’s Demands for Climate Justice. Accessed June 05, 2019. https://www.peoplesdemands.org/.

[iii] “Kick Big Polluters Out.” Kick Big Polluters Out. Accessed June 05, 2019. http://kickbigpollutersout.org/.

[iv] Hope, Mat. “European Parliament: Say No to Fossil Fuel Lobbying at International Climate Talks.” DeSmog UK. October 4, 2017. Accessed June 15, 2019. https://www.desmog.co.uk/2017/10/04/european-parliament-say-no-fossil-fuel-lobbying-international-climate-talks.

[v] Third World Network. “Attempts to block issue ‘conflict of interest’ policy in UNFCCC.” June 14, 2018. Accessed June 15, 2019. https://www.twn.my/title2/climate/info.service/2018/cc180602.htm.

[vi] “The People’s Demands for Climate Justice.” The People’s Demands for Climate Justice. Accessed June 05, 2019. https://www.peoplesdemands.org/.