As the warm-up climate talks in Warsaw end, the message from the Polish government is clear: big companies get privileged access to negotiators, but NGOs are excluded.
Next month countries will gather in Warsaw for the latest round of climate negotiations but the exclusion of civil society, while business gets full access, has already begun at the warm-up talks, ending today (4th October 2013).
The UN climate talks, or COP19 (the 19th Conference of the Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC), will be presided over by the Polish government, and in particular the Polish Minister for Environment, Marcin Korolec (see picture, right).
Minister Korolec has been at pains to emphasise that the UN climate talks this year in Poland will be business-friendly. At a press conference on 15th September he said:
“For the first time in 19 years, since the climate talks have been held, representatives of global business will be a part of it"
So what does this mean? Future blog posts will investigate exactly what role the Polish government sees for business, and why some of the dirtiest corporations like ArcelorMittal (steel giant with severe impacts in many communities around the world and the company which has pocketed more assets than anyone else in the EU carbon market (the emissions trading scheme)), BMW (active lobbyists against car CO2 emission reductions) and Lotos, (Polish oil company promoting shale gas exploration), are official COP19 partners.