Several big polluters are gathering this week to celebrate the move towards “net zero” emissions. But climate, forest and human rights activists say this event offers false solutions and shows zero real ambition to address the climate crisis.
Top sponsors of the ‘Net Zero Festival’ include Heathrow Airport, Shell, Drax and Schroders, Drax’s second-largest shareholder. Invited speakers include representatives of Amazon, Rolls Royce, Unilever and the UK government alongside big NGOs such as WWF, plus think tanks, industry associations and journalists. With tickets selling for £150 a pop and a limited number of “vetted” places available to civil society, it’s unlikely to include many attendees from grassroots movements or those most affected by climate change. While the line-up includes some speakers from groups that are advocating for real action in the face of the climate crisis, an event focussing on “solutions” from big businesses is never going to put climate justice at the forefront. For more info on the false solutions that the big corporates are aching to promote including BioEnergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), carbon offsets and “green flights”, check out this article in the Canary, this piece by Global Forest Coalition and this blog post by Campaign Against Climate Change.
In response to the festival, Biofuelwatch with our friends at UK Youth Climate Coalition and Stay Grounded organised a mini series of webinars on false solutions with grassroots activists including speakers from Friends of the Earth, Possible, Zero Waste Europe, Gastivists and Global Forest Coalition. These were well attended with some lively debate – if you missed them, watch then below or follow this link to see up and coming and previous webinares
As the climate crisis continues, it’s vital that activists are ready to call out false solutions like these and keep building a strong and diverse movement for climate justice. When the COP 26 climate summit finally happens in 2021, these companies will be there lobbying – we need to make sure our voices are louder.