Kyoto Shimbun 1997.12.5

Strong lobby activity

As COP3, being held at the Kyoto International Conference Hall in SakyoWard of Kyoto, Japan, heads into the middle phase of the conference, NGO'sand business organizations are intensifying their lobbying activities aimedat government representatives. On December 3, the internationalenvironment organization Greenpeace publicly released a list of the 53economic groups participating in the conference, strongly criticizing thesegroups as attempting to undermine the conference. NGO's from Japan havealso begun a vote for "Businesses Ruining COP3", increasing the intensityof the battle taking place at the conference.

According to Greenpeace, approximately 1000 people related to economicorganizations are participating in the conference. The largest number fromany one group is 111 representatives from the International Chamber ofCommerce and Industry, which is formed by businesses from around the world,followed by the Global Climate Coalition, an association of oil companiesfrom the U.S. The Federation of Economic Organizations from Japan has alsosent 60 representatives to the conference.

Representatives from businesses state that their goal is to see that theprotocol is not made legally binding, so that they can protect businessinterests. These business representatives are lobbying their ideas togovernment representatives outside the conference area. The businessrepresentatives make contact with government representatives beforemeetings as well as during breaks and lunch, attempting to persuade thegovernment representatives to reflect the goals of businesses in theprotocol.

In response to this, Greenpeace has also formed a "Political Team"consisting of 12 members. Members of the group are assigned to specifiedregions - the U.S., Japan, the EU, etc., and analyze information collecteddaily about each of these governments. The members then exchangeinformation directly with government representatives from each country inan attempt to realize a major reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emission.

American Kalee Kreider of Greenpeace states that the U.S. proposal (0%reduction) is so low because business groups are making major politicalcontributions to politicians to sway the politicians, and that Greenpeacewill do as much as possible to counter the influence of business lobbyistsat COP3.

The Japanese NGO "Friends of the Earth" has also created a list of twelvecompanies such as energy related businesses and automobile manufacturersthat are hindering carbon dioxide reduction. Since the 3rd, the group hasbeen asking people participating in the conference to vote with the "Dirty Dozen Ballot" =photo= selecting the worst businesses that are most severelyhindering CO2 reduction in an effort to check the lobbying activities ofbusiness and economic organizations.