15 Years In, Climate Week Is Still Rife With Corporate Greenwashing

"This year’s sponsors included some of the most notorious polluters "

"New York City’s annual Climate Week has just about wrapped up, with the usual guise of inspiring climate solutions. But there’s one glaring disconnect: It is sponsored by some of the biggest perpetrators of the climate crisis.

This year’s lineup of sponsors wasn’t particularly surprising. As in years past, some of the most notorious corporate giants were headliners of the weeklong event, including plastic polluters and greenhouse gas emitters such as PepsiCo, Nestlé, and Anheuser-Busch InBev; consulting firms and banks financing fossil fuel companies such as McKinsey & Co., KPMG, and Boston Consulting Group; pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca; PFAS manufacturer Saint-Gobain; and gas-firing tech giant Siemens.

These polluters are “writing the checks and therefore having a heavy influence over what comes out of this [climate] week,” said Rachel Rose Jackson, director of climate research and policy at the nonprofit Corporate Accountability. “Corporations have a profit-driven motive that they're legally, financially, business-wise and otherwise completely beholden to, so they have one primary priority, which is to make as much money as possible.”

Some of these same sponsors were also invited to last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) COP27 climate summit. When industries and companies that are drivers of the climate crisis command a seat in the policymaking sphere, Jackson said, it creates a fundamental conflict of interest. “The last people you want putting the fire out are the arsonists holding the hose.”"

Marlowe Starling reports for Sierra magazine September 23, 2023.

Source: Sierra, 09/25/2023