As leaders from around the world head to Paris in December for the COP21 UN climate negotiations, they do so with the burdensome knowledge that this is it: the big year. More than 190 nations will try to reach an internationally binding climate agreement to prevent the globe from warming to catastrophic levels.
Such high stakes haven’t pressed upon the negotiations since 2009’s Copenhagen climate summit, widely regarded as a failure after wearied countries fled the conference without producing a strong international agreement.
Perhaps that’s why this year there is little patience for the influence peddling of the world’s major fossil fuel companies, all of which are eager to play a role in the conversation.
Nearly 400,000 people have signed a petition to bar “big polluters” from the talks.
The petition, organized by Corporate Accountability International, argues the summit should be protected from corporate interests and becoming a platform for companies intending to “block progress, push false solutions and continue the disastrous status quo.”
The petition is just one of a number of public efforts designed to showcase the negative influence of industry groups on climate talks, their historic bad behaviour and a growing international impatience for meaningful climate action.