The Global Climate Change Lobby

The Global Climate Change Lobby

Inside the battle to influence the most important environmental treaty of our time.

Video: Meet the carbon traders

They started appearing at business and industry meetings in 2001 after Marrakesh — the UN climate meeting that established rules for a global market for trading greenhouse gases. Representatives for the emissions trading industry became increasingly more visible and today compete with rich, well-connected carbon-emitters for international influence.

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Video: Meet the electricity and gas lobbies

The electric industry is a hodgepodge of interests; High-carbon coal, lower-carbon natural gas, and near-zero-carbon nuclear. Each has a lot to gain and a lot to lose depending on the outcome of the Copenhagen climate talks. And the winner will depend largely on the agreed-upon targets for reducing emissions. Carbon-heavy power generators would like far-off targets. Carbon-light companies stand to gain from near-term goals.

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Video: The alternative energy policy

Industry officials are arriving in droves today to take part in what’s being pegged as the seminal global event on climate change. The place is expected to fill with representatives of traditional carbon-intensive industries, like oil and coal. But the first to set up their exhibit booths at the conference center in Copenhagen are largely those whose voices have been drowned out — the people representing wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources.

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Data, team, and funding

About This Project: The Global Climate Change Lobby

Starting in July 2009, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists fielded an eight-country team of reporters to uncover the special interests attempting to influence negotiations on a global climate change treaty.

Relying on more than 200 interviews, lobbying and campaign contribution records in a half-dozen countries, and on-the-ground reporting from Beijing to Brussels, our team pieced together the story of a far-reaching, multinational backlash by fossil fuel industries and other heavy carbon emitters aimed at slowing progress on control of greenhouse gas emissions.

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