For years, ALTER-EU has been drawing attention to the excessive influence that big corporations enjoy over EU policy-making, resulting in decisions which put profits ahead of people and the planet. Nowhere does this become more apparent than with the lobbying efforts of the fossil fuel industries at the European institutions. Since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, where world’s governments pledged to keep global heating below 1,5 degrees, the big five fossil fuel corporations Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Total, and Chevorn have spent a total of $1 billion on lobbying and advertising to undermine this goal. And their efforts pay off: In 2018, Shell, BP and ExxonMobil alone made $55 billion of profits from climate pollution.
For decades now, those corporations have relentlessly tried to deny science, and to delay, weaken, and sabotage climate action. They’ve done so with much effect. Be it through hijacking climate talks, co-writing relevant policies hand-in-hand with the European Commission, or pressuring for corporate-friendly “solutions” to climate change, such as the self-defeating Emission Trading Scheme: The EU and European governments are continuing to set inadequate emission limits and renewable energy targets, and encouraging European citizens to consume fossil fuels. New gas pipelines and coal plants continue to receive subsidies, and bold approaches to tackle climate change are neglected in favor of solutions which are proven not to work, but keep corporate polluters happy. The European Emission Trading Scheme, for example, has been failing to deliver measurable reductions, while more radicals means such as carbon taxation are blocked by corporate resistance on a regular basis.
It is high time that the European political institutions recognize the destructive effects deriving from constant fossil fuel industry interference with democratic decision-making. ALTER-EU therefore supports the demand of civil society organizations for a firewall against corporate capture of climate and energy policy.
More precisely, our demands include:
1) Instituting a firewall to end fossil fuel industry access to democratic decision-making: no lobby meetings unless where absolutely necessary and requested by policy-makers; no seats in expert and advisory bodies; no role in governmental research bodies.
2) Avoiding conflicts of interest: no revolving door between public office and the fossil fuel industry; no industry side jobs or placements; no hiring of industry consultants.
3) Ending preferential treatment of the fossil fuel industry: no involvement in climate negotiations; no place on government delegations to international negotiations or trade missions; no more subsidies or incentives for fossil fuel related activities.
4) Rejecting partnerships with the fossil fuel industry: no sponsorships or partnerships; no sharing platforms with industry representatives; no hosting or attending of industry events; no party or candidate donations.
For the in-depth demand document, go to: https://fossilfreepolitics.org
For research on fossil fuel industries’ lobbying efforts, including case studies, go to: https://fossilfreepolitics.org/#Find-Out-More
For more information about ALTER-EU’s stance on EU lobbying, go to: https://www.alter-eu.org/what-we-want