New Report Digs the Dirt on the Corporate Criminals Sponsoring Climate Talks

From financial giant BNP Paribas to fossil fuels company Engie, the same corporations that deny science and drive carbon pollution are now sponsoring, co-opting, and interfering with the upcoming United Nations climate talks in Paris, a new exposé reveals.

Fueling the Fire: The corporate sponsors bankrolling COP21 was published by Corporate Accountability International on Monday—a week ahead of the opening of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) summit in Paris.

While it was no secret that the long list of corporate sponsors behind the talks raises numerous conflict-of-interest concerns, Monday’s report digs up new dirt on the dealings of four major backers: fossil fuel corporations Engie and Suez Environment, global banking giant BNP Paribas, and French utility Électricité de France (EDF).

“Together, these four corporate sponsors represent direct ownership of and/or investments in: more than 46 coal-fired power plants; exploration of oil sands in Canada, hydraulic fracturing in the UK, and the Tata Mundra coal-fired power plant in Gujarat, India; more than €15 billion invested in the coal industry since 2005; and more than 200 megatons of CO2 equivalent emissions,” a report summary states.

What’s more, the investigation finds, these companies have a history of “political interference in policy-making through a range of underhanded tactics; their vested interests in emissions-intensive industrial practices; their global integration with other corporations and industrial sectors that profit from climate-damaging investments; and their slick efforts to green-wash their profit motives and climate crimes through new public-relations practices of ‘corporate social and environmental responsibility.'”

For example, EDF, as part of BusinessEurope, works alongside oil giants like Shell to actively oppose policies that favor renewable energy.