"Big greenhouse polluting companies around the world, employing thousands of lobbyists, are exerting heavy pressure on governments to weaken climate change laws at home and slow progress on an international climate agreement in Copenhagen, a global investigation reveals.
In Australia, 20 companies who have already won the most concessions from the Rudd Government's emissions trading scheme employ 28 lobbying firms with well over 100 staff, many of them former politicians, political advisers or government officials.
In the US there are more than 2800 climate lobbyists, five for every member of Congress, an increase of more than 400 per cent over the past six years. From Washington to Canberra and New Delhi to Brussels, companies and their lobbyists are often raising the same widespread fears about jobs, power blackouts and economic losses unless governments weaken commitments to combat climate change.
The report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists examined the climate lobby in eight countries including the US, Canada, Australia, India, Japan, China, Belgium and Brazil. It relied on more than 200 interviews, lobbying registers and political donation records. The Herald collaborated in the investigation for Australia."
Marian Wilkinson and Flint Duxfield report for the Sydney Morning Herald November 6, 2009.