Last week, one week before EU Green Week 24th -27th May 2011, the European Business Summit (EBS) took place in Brussels. The EBS claims to be ‘Europe’s key meeting place for business leaders and decision-makers in the EU’.
In response to concerns over the way the business lobby influences the development of policy, too often frustrating the environmental aims of energy and climate policy, Friends of the Earth Europe produced and distributed a parody newspaper of the well known European Voice, called European Noise. This clever and snazzy campaigning tool not only contains some hard hitting messages in its ironic pieces, but is also very entertaining. I’d highly recommend taking a look!
European Noise features:
- the product recall of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) – ‘due to an unexpected error, large emitters of CO2 have recieved generous allocations of permits to pollute, meaning they have no obligations to cut their emissions’;
- a faux Shell advertisement thanking the European Commission for caving in to their lobbying and not creating mandatory measures to reduce wasteful and harmful gas flaring (which increased by 32% last year, along with their greenhouse gas emissions which rose by 9%);
- and my personal favourite, the latest carbon offsetting technology, a literally breathtaking scheme – paying schoolchildren in China to hold their breath.
Oh, and European Business leaders – don’t forget to book your ticket to another planet. Virgin is offering to fly business leaders and European Commission officials to another planet where they can continue business as usual, without having to deal with any of the consequences, including climate change.
Every piece in European Noise is a parody except for the “the effects of climate change in the real world”. This piece reminds us of the urgency and paramount importance of tackling climate change. Without the kind of ambitious climate action, that the business lobby so often seeks to undermine in the name of profit and competitiveness, we run the risk of being left with a planet on which there can be no business at all.