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Caught! EU business lobby funding climate legislation blockers in US Senate

Today CAN Europe [1] released a new report [2] based on an analysis of publicly available campaign finance records, definitively proving that polluting European companies are funding climate legislation blockers in US politics. Their overseas support is all the more galling because the same companies argue that additional emissions reductions in Europe cannot be pursued until the United States takes action.

"It's disturbing that these European polluters fund anti-climate crusaders in the US while simultaneously fighting against strong climate legislation in Europe," said Tomas Wyns, CAN Europe Senior Policy Officer. "This newly released data proves the anecdotal rumours about European companies that have been circulating for some time." The report was created using information that became available throughout the month of October, based on data released by the US Federal Elections Commission and accessible via the Open Secrets database [3]. CAN Europe uncovered what appears to be a clear pattern of European polluters influencing United States climate and energy policies through targeted donations to candidates who oppose action on climate change.

Big European emitters BAYER, BASF, Solvay, Lafarge, BP, GDF-SUEZ, Arcelor-Mittal and EON supported senators blocking climate change legislation in the US for a combined total of $240,200. To put it in perspective, in 2009 these seven firms emitted 130 million tones of greenhouse gas pollution, roughly the same as the annual emissions of Belgium. Support from these European companies is going to numerous US candidates who not only block climate legislation, but also actively deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by humans.

CAN-Europe is calling for an immediate and clear response from the companies involved and the European Business Federations of which these companies are members, such as Business Europe, CEFIC, EUROFER, CEMBUREAU, EURELECTRIC and EUROPIA. We call on these federations to denounce the actions of the companies that have been exposed and create a system for accountability and transparency for their members.

The exposure of these actions highlights the need for enforceable rules for proactive transparency for both lobbyists and EU institutions.

Editors' notes:
[1] Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe unites 130 European environmental and development NGOs working to fight dangerous climate change.
[2] CAN-Europe, October 2010. Think globally, sabotage locally. How and why European companies are funding climate change deniers and anti-climate legsilation voices in the US Senate.

[3] http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/index.php

Media contact

   Vanessa Bulkacz
   Communications Manager
   Direct line: +32 2894 4675
   Email: vanessa/at/caneurope.org

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