Fox in the hen house: polluters are bankrolling climate talks


As corporate anti-climate behaviour comes under increasing scrutiny from law-enforcers, media and public, a new report highlights the conflict of interest between the Paris climate summit’s aims and the polluting actions of the companies bankrolling it. Fueling the Fire – The corporate sponsors bankrolling COP21’ reveals how Engie, EDF, Suez Environnement and BNP Paribas together own more than 46 coal-fired power plants, and are investing in oil sands exploration in Canada and fracking for shale gas in the UK. They have paid €15.5 billion into the French coal industry in the last ten years alone, and are responsible for more than 200 megatonnes of CO2 emissions. With the breadth and depth of such companies’ fossil fuel assets made clear, their attempts at blocking climate actionoften fronted by lobby groups – common knowledge, and the public helping throw the spotlight on climate Pinocchios, the game is up. The UN can ensure the “fox” is nowhere near the “hen house” at next week’s climate summit in Paris and in future climate policy-making by kicking polluters out just big tobacco was kicked out of health talks a decade ago.


Key Points




  • “Inviting some of the world’s biggest polluters to pay for the COP is akin to hiring a fox to guard a hen house. We must eliminate this conflict of interest before COPs become corporate tradeshows for false market-based solutions.” – Patti Lynn, executive director of Corporate Accountability International.
  • “Despite recent announcements to stop new coal projects, Engie still owns 30 dirty coal power plants worldwide. Gas and coal are the company’s main energy sources; renewables account for just 4 per cent of its energy mix (excluding large dams). On top of this, Engie is planning to sell some of its coal power plants instead of closing them down. The French state is directly responsible for Engie’s greenwashing activities as it owns 33 per cent of its shares and accepted to put them in their list of COP21 sponsors.” – Célia Gautier, policy advisor at Climate Action Network France
  • “In Nigeria, the deadly effects of Shell’s unholy alliance with our government has left deep scars on our country. Whether it’s sponsorship or back-door lobbying, we must protect climate policy-making from those who wish to undermine it.” – Philip Jakpor from Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria, a member of the global coalition

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  • New report: #COP21‘s sponsors have vested interest in the climate treaty’s failure  #BigPollutersOut

  • New Report: #COP21 sponsor #Engie emits over 131 Mt CO2 annually= 501 billion km in a passenger car #climate
  • @EDF has been working alongside @Shell @exxonmobil and others to block deployment of #renewables throughout #Europe
  • For almost 50 years, #BNP Paribas has been a massive financial driver behind tar sand extraction in #Canada
  • @Engie includes gas extracted via hydraulic fracturing in portfolio of clean #energy and aggressively expanded its efforts in fracked #gas
  • @Suez -partially owned by @Engie has positioned business model to profit from the #toxic byproducts of many #fossil #fuel extraction process