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Russian corporate lobbyists around the climate negotiations

Rashid Alimov

During the climate conference in Copenhagen, a group of NGOs presented an anti-award "Angry Mermaid" for worst corporate lobbying (the little mermaid statue of Andersen's fairy tale is considered a symbol of Copenhagen). The winner of the Angry Mermaid Award was announced the biotech giant Monsanto.
According to organizers, Monsanto was nominated for promoting its genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution to climate change and pushing for its crops to be used as biofuels. Monsanto also wants GM soy to be funded under the Clean Development Mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol, while the expansion of GM soy in Latin America is contributing to major deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.
The founders of the anti-awards are Attac Denmark, Corporate Europe Observatory, Focus on the Global South, Friends of the Earth International, Oil Change International and Spinwatch.
According to Corporate Europe Observatory, Russian companies participate in international groups of corporate lobbyists at the climate negotiations.
In particular, Russia's state-run Atomstroyexport is a part of the World Nuclear Association (WNA), which aims at promoting insecure nuclear technologies and, in particular, making them eligible for climate funding under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.
Russian state-run Gazprom is a part of the 3C: Combat Climate Change, together with BP, Bayer, E. On and StatoilHydro. The aim of this group is lobbying for such dubious technologies as nuclear power, biofuels and carbon capture and storage (CSS). CSS is promoted also by Zero emissions platform (ZEP platform), its activities are made scandalous by the fact that this structure is partly funded by the money of European taxpayers. CSS was studied in the UN Intergovenmental panel on climate change (IPCC) special report, which mentions that capture of carbon dioxide emitted by coal plants increases emissions of other pollutants; and further storage of carbon in the seas or in underground wells also raises concerns.
Russia's large steel producer Severstal is a member of the World Steel Association. Changing boundaries of its sanitary protection zone by Severstal happened some time ago made local residents of Cherepovets to file complaints in the European Court of Human Rights. This was the first Russian environmental case won by the claimants in Strasbourg. The aim of the World Steel Association is lobbying for the idea that the steelworkers are part of the solution, and thus deserve a special approach. Meanwhile, according to UN IPCC, steel accounts for 6-7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Worldsteel is pushing for a “sectoral approach” to emissions cuts in Copenhagen - with targets set by industry applied to the whole of the steel industry rather than to individual countries or regions.
Sectoral approach is promoted also by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which comprises large Russian airlines, including Aeroflot, Transaero and S7 Siberia. Its objective is exclusion of air transport sector from the commitments of greenhouse reduction of the countries.
International lobbyists are at least partly responsible for failure of international agreement in Copenhagen, keep on their activities.

RSEU Climate Secretariat considers the policy of big corporations at climate negotiations as contradictory to interests of mankind. Such policy shall meet alertness, revelation and rejection. Russia's large corporations and public companies naturally become more and more involved in the process of international lobbying, influencing Russian policy on climate change. The goal of Russian NGOs in such a situation shall be revealing the motivations of corporate lobbying and proposals of alternative scenarios.