Opinion: The Most Polluting Industries Should Not have a Voice on Climate Change

How is climate change intended to be mitigated when the entities that must regulate and take strong and safe actions are giving the floor to the most polluting industries?.

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If they want attention, let’s let them be the eye of the hurricane. Photo: LatinAmerican Post

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Opinión: las industrias más contaminantes no deben tener voz sobre el cambio climático

2021 has been characterized by the amount of bad news related to climate change and the little hope it leaves behind. But it has also been characterized by anxiously waiting for COP26 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change), an event that will take place between October 31 and November 12 and that seeks to initiate conversations around environmental justice to reach solutions and taking actions to stop climate change.

Also read: Opinion: The War On Drugs Won't Save the Environment

However, it was recently announced, thanks to a report by The Ferret , that in the preparatory meetings for COP26 that took place in May and June of this year, 138 executives related to various industries that have historically been responsible for climate change participated. These meetings are spaces in which international negotiations are held whose supposed purpose is to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gases, but how do you intend to combat climate change when you are giving a voice to whoever produces it?

Faced with this news, thousands of activists around the world have pointed out and criticized this move by the UN, stating that these types of industries should not have a voice or vote when making decisions, since their words can greatly influence decisions. due to short and long term economic interests. From their part, spokespersons for these industries have spoken and defended, arguing that their opinions also deserve to be heard because they have the ability to take a serious position on the problem to bring solutions and be part of progress.

But how true is this? And, to be honest, how much right do they have to have their point of view heard? Let's do a recount: we are talking about several industries, among which we find the oil industry, agribusiness, chemical multinationals, the pharmaceutical industry, among others. All highly polluting industries that, in addition, have historically been at the top of the top due to the demand they have produced. Industries that have had the microphone for hundreds of years. Industries that have created empires from the massive expenditure of natural resources , from the destruction of ecosystems, species and entire communities. Industries that have never given voice to those who suffer the direct and indirect consequences of the actions of those who do have a voice.

A bit paradoxical that now that they are cornered because they are finally identified as the main responsible for what may become the most destructive event in our history, these industries seek that among the diversity of voices that must be heard are that of they.

What can you expect from a regulatory body that does not regulate?

Beyond the fact that these industries want to be heard, the real problem is that the UN, the organizer of this conference and who is supposed to ensure the rights of the most vulnerable and to enforce social and environmental justice, is the one who is responsible for giving that voice to polluting industries. They even come to pass for cynics when we realize that the lobby takes second place because now the industries can take sides in the decisions that are going to be discussed, and therefore can protect themselves under an unconvincing discourse in which They claim to want to be part of the conversation to reach solutions that, as Swedish activist Greta Thunberg said, are just blah blah blah.

When will be the day when regulators stop playing blah blah blah and take action? When will the day be when climate change stops being printed in newspapers and detailed on web pages and becomes a problem that can be worked on from reality? As that day arrives, time grows shorter, climate change more real, and a bleak future turns into a hopeless present.

It is time for us to speak out against (even) those organizations that care about the environment from teeth out, as if they only had to fulfill one point on the agenda. There are people who are literally giving their lives to protect what little is left to protect, while those who get all the applause are making catastrophic decisions.

Climate change is real and so are its promoters. Why should we be ashamed to point them out? If they want attention, let's let them be the eye of the hurricane.

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