Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Paris Climate Talks – Corporations and Climate Change

Hear-This-way  http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/corporations-and-climate-change/6947120ABC Radio National, Ockhams Razor 22 Nov 15   In the lead-up to the Paris Climate Talks, Christopher Wright, examines how environmental destruction became a business opportunity.  He explores the complex relationship between the corporate world and climate change, and the central role of corporations in shaping political and social responses to the climate crisis………

Christopher Wright:Global businesses, many of them now larger and more powerful than nation states, exhibit enormous sway on humanity’s response to the climate crisis. Indeed, in the lead-up to the Paris climate talks later this month there is growing media focus on so-called business “leadership” on climate change. For instance, just last month Royal Dutch Shell, General Electric, BHP Billiton and management consultancy McKinsey & Co. announced the establishment of a committee to advise governments on how to combat global warming while strengthening economic growth. This follows other announcements such as Unilever’s chief executive officer, Paul Polman, emphasising the need for private sector mobilization to close the shortfall in emission commitments made by governments, as well as Virgin’s CEO Richard Branson who has argued that “our only hope to stop climate change is for industry to make money from it.”

These proclamations need to be viewed in the broader context of business opposition to the fundamental economic change necessary to avoid dangerous climate change. A good example of the duality of this corporate engagement has been the recent revelation that oil-giant Exxon, for decades a leading opponent of carbon regulation and funder of climate change denial, has since the mid-1980s been well aware of the disastrous implications of fossil fuel use for the Earth’s climate. This self-serving logic parallels other well-known examples of business obfuscation such as BP’s infamous ‘Beyond Petroleum’ greenwashing in the early 2000s, and more recently Peabody Energy’s marketing of coal as a response to “energy poverty” in the developing world.

How then to make sense of the mixed messages from corporations on climate change?

Book Climate Capitalism Corporations

In our new book, Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction, Daniel Nyberg and I explore the role of corporations and corporate capitalism within the climate crisis. We argue that while many global businesses promote a message of “action” and “leadership”, this ignores the deeper problem 0f how corporate capitalism is locked into a cycle of promoting ever more creative ways of exploiting nature and destroying a habitable climate……..

In our book we argue that global capitalism is now locked into a process of what we term “creative self-destruction”…….

sparkling image of corporate environmentalism and business sustainability falsely promises no conflicts and no trade-offs. Here, it is seen as possible to address climate change while continuing the current global expansion of consumption. In contrast to the blinding evidence of ever-escalating greenhouse gas emissions, this comforting political myth promises no contradiction between material affluence and environmental well-being. We can have it all and, according to the myth of corporate environmentalism, avoid climate catastrophe!……..

Ultimately the “success” or otherwise of the Paris climate talks are unlikely to threaten the fundamental dynamics underlying the climate crisis. Dramatic decarbonisation based around mandatory limits upon consumption, economic growth, and corporate influence are not on the agenda nor open for discussion. Rather, global elites have framed the response to climate change around an accentuation of the very causes of the crisis.

In essence, the prevailing corporate view is that capitalism should be seen not as a cause of climate change but as an answer to it. Thus a problem brought about by overconsumption, the logic goes, should be addressed through more consumption………http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/corporations-and-climate-change/6947120#transcript

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November 22, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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