Press release – 23 November, 2011Major Polluters Singled Out Week Before United Nations Climate Change Conference in South AfricaSydney/Durban, 24 November 2011 – A new report released today by Greenpeace reveals how a handful of major polluting corporations such as Eskom, BASF, ArcelorMittal, BHP Billiton, Shell and Koch Industries – and the  industry associations they are members of – are influencing governments and the political process on climate legislation.
“Our governments must work with and learn from the business sector but we will not avoid irreversible climate change impacts unless they listen to and act on the behalf of their citizens. In Durban, it’s time for governments to listen to the people, not the polluting corporations” – said Kumi Naidoo Greenpeace International Executive Director.
The ‘Who’s holding us back’ report (1) demonstrates why decisive action on the climate is being increasingly ousted from the political agenda.  The report summarises the lack of action at a national level in several key countries. This lack of action stands in stark contrast to public opinion demanding change. (2)
"The generous compensation provisions for big polluters in the Clean Energy package and the ongoing refusal of the Gillard Government to eliminate billions of dollars of fossil fuel subsidies has made clear the kind of destructive power and influence the fossil fuel lobby has with Australia’s political elite,” said Jeremy Tager, Greenpeace Political campaigner. “In this report, we document the tricks of the trade that polluting corporations use to pull the strings of our politicians and mislead the public. For an increase in profits they would deny our children a safe and stable future. We cannot allow this sorry state to continue,” concluded Mr Tager
Greenpeace is calling on governments in Durban to listen to the people and not the polluting corporations, and:
• Ensure a peak in global emissions by 2015
• Emission reductions: Close the gap between politics and science
• Ensure the Kyoto Protocol continues and provide a mandate for a comprehensive legally binding instrument
• Deliver the necessary climate finance
• Set up a framework for protecting forests in developing countries
• Address the needs of the most vulnerable countries and communities
• Ensure global cooperation on technology and energy finance
• Ensure international transparency in assessing and monitoring country commitments and actions
• Ensure transparency, democracy and full participation in the UNFCCC process
Contact information:
Julie Macken – Sydney media officer – 0400 925 217
Jeremy Tager – Political campaigner Canberra – 0400 376 974
Notes to editors:
(1) The Greenpeace report is available for download:
(2) A global poll in 2009 showed that 73% of people placed a high priority on climate change and a recent poll confirmed that global concern about climate change has risen slightly since the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, despite the ongoing global financial and economic crisis.