Monsanto named worst corporate climate lobbyist

| 15th December 2009
Angry Mermaid

The Angry Mermaid award for worst corporate lobbysist was inspired by the Copenhagen landmark

US company wants its GM crops to be given carbon credits and to be at the forefront of tackling climate change despite link to deforestation

Biotech giant Monsanto has been criticised for its aggressive corporate lobbying on climate change at the Copenhagen summit.

In a public vote organised by an alliance of NGOs, including Friends of the Earth and Spinwatch, the US agricultural company came out ahead of oil giant Shell and the American Petroleum Institute.

Monsanto was nominated for its promotion of genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution to climate change and for pushing its crops to be used as biofuels.

According to the alliance, the expansion of GM soy in Latin America is contributing to major deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon credits

The company has also been lobbying for carbon credits for its RoundUp Ready crops on the basis that it does not need ploughing because it can be heavily sprayed with herbicides.

While not ploughing the fields leaves more carbon in the ground, the alliance says the spread of soy monocultures in Latin America has caused deforestation, the displacement of local people and an increase in the use of herbicides, which have been linked to health problems.

‘Big business must not be allowed to sabotage action against climate change by promoting their vested interests,’ said vote organiser Paul de Clerk from Friends of the Earth International.

‘All the nominated companies have lobbied to protect their own profits and prevent effective action to tackle climate change. Governments need to stop listening to them and choose real solutions to the climate crisis.’

The other nominees for the Angry Mermaid Award for corporate lobbying were:

  • American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity
  • American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • European Chemical Lobby (Cefic)
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)
  • Sasol
  • Shell

Useful links

The Angry Mermaid Award

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