Fossil Fuel Industries in Climate Negotiations

The anthropogenic cause of climate change is the carbon and other greenhouse gases. These are emitted by the fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industries profit from the fuel. Now why would they want to cut down their own resource from which they profit? So why should they be included in the negotiations that look forward to alternative energy sources? According to the IPCC, the GHGs in the atmosphere have increased considerably since the 1750, i.e. after the industrial revolution. It we look at different graphs and charts from NASA, UNFCCC, IPCC reports, we can clearly see the comparable rising pattern between fossil fuel use, rising of carbon in the atmosphere and subsequent global warming.

The COP21 marked the successful negotiation to keep the rising temperature well below 2 degree Celsius. This is possible only when the countries take actions to cut down on their carbon emissions, and also increase afforestation. The global temperature has already risen by over 0.8 degree Celsius than the previous pre industrial time and is still projected to rise by 0.2 degree Celsius per decade. In order to keep our temperature from rising more and creating havoc, we need to curb our emissions and promote green energy.

The controversy during COP21 was also the inclusion of various major polluters as sponsors, out of which the most notable and discussed were Air France, and the European bank BNP Paribas, to name a few. Corporate inclusion infiltrates the policy making process. They have also been criticized of green washing themselves by attempting to establish themselves as solution through payment, while they are the problem themselves.

According to Maxime Combes of ATTAC France, “The government is offering a cheap and easy opportunity for multinational climate criminals to green-wash their image. The public interest demands that these talks not be polluted by the private interests represented by these companies. Would we entrust the fight against tobacco to cigarette manufacturers? Why do it for climate policy”

As the global economy shifts from fossil fuel based to alternative energy, the fossil fuel industry face the most loss. According to a Barclays Plc energy analyst., the fossil fuel industry risks losing $33 trillion in revenue over the next 25 years as global warming may drive companies to leave oil, natural gas and coal in the ground. No wonder they have been trying to tell us that global warming and climate change is not real, that it is not as serious as everyone else points it out to be. It is very risky to have someone of exactly opposing interest joining the major decision makers. The influence of the fossil fuel industry does not restrict itself only to the conferences. They have more serious influence on the government of any particular country, especially if the country’s major economy source lies on the fossil fuels. This can be a major hindrance when the country is trying to make a more environmentally friendly policy.

While the world is trying to shift to solar and wind energy, the fossil fuel enthusiasts are already hurt and reluctant about having to leave so much of possible energy source on the ground. Because it is not only energy source for them, it is money. But while they continue to dig up the ground for the oil, millions of other pay the price. According to the scientists, we need to let the remaining fuels remain underground for cleaner air and a lesser risky future. When we pay the fossil fuel industry, it is not just money. The cost of carbon is drought, famine, sea level rise, water scarcity, climate refugees, extreme events, dying corals, wildfire, retreating glaciers, species extinction, infrastructure loss, ecosystem and most of all, our way of life. As we are in the tipping point, and as we have already come a long way by trying to promote renewable energy, it is time to have a strict say about inclusion of fossil fuel industry in our decision making processes, as their point of view does not match ours, but rather, it is completely contrary.

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