The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of recently reported ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Will COP27 Get Greenwashed?
Dear Diary. Every time a big conference of any type takes place money gets required. The venue wants rent money. Personnel setting the conference up require money, going down all the way to janitorial staff. Most organizations wanting to hold a conference usually ask for sponsors to offset expenses. Those holding COP27 in Egypt in November are no different. One sponsor has been accused of “greenwashing,” which is nothing more than appearing to be carbon neutral while in practice emitting more carbon into the air through their practices. Some entities go to great lengths to hide greenwashing to continue garnering high profits.
So, will the very act of holding COP27 emit a lot more of the very substance that participants are trying to stop from going into the atmosphere? That’s a good question, where the word hypocrisy comes into play. In the view of many, all of these yearly COPs have been two slow in acting on carbon pollution, yet they are about the only large international mechanism we have for global cooperation on climate change. It is my sincere hope that more progress can be made from COP27 that will be worth its being held in the first place despite the use of jet fuel for travel to the conference.
What’s most disturbing is that the leadership of Egypt itself has been accused of greenwashing for COP27.
So, just what sponsor has been accused of greenwashing? We find that answer from opendemocracy.net:
PR firm accused of greenwashing big oil is helping organise COP27
The US agency has a “shameful track record of spreading disinformation” but has been hired by the Egyptian government
21 October 2022
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27, taking place next month in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, is being promoted by PR firm Hill+Knowlton, which has been accused of greenwashing | Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/Sipa USA
The US public relations firm helping Egypt organise COP27 also works for major oil companies and has been accused of greenwashing on their behalf, openDemocracy can reveal.
Hill+Knowlton Strategies, which has worked for ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and Saudi Aramco, is managing communications for Egypt’s presidency of the UN climate conference, which will take place next month in Sharm El Sheikh.
Hill+Knowlton’s clients have also included Coca-Cola, which last month was controversially named as a sponsor of the conference despite having been declared the world’s worst corporate plastic polluter for four years in a row.
Kathy Mulvey, accountability campaign director at the Union of Concerned Scientists – a non-profit advocacy group – told openDemocracy that Hill+Knowlton had a “shameful track record of spreading disinformation” on behalf of oil companies
“The COP presidency should use a PR firm committed to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement,” she said. “All bad actors involved in climate deception – including the PR industry – must be held accountable”.
UN secretary general Antonio Guterres recently called out the “public relations machine raking in billions to shield the fossil fuel industry from scrutiny”.
“Just as they did for the tobacco industry decades before, lobbyists and spin doctors have spewed harmful misinformation,” Guterres said last month. “Fossil fuel interests need to spend less time averting a PR disaster – and more time averting a planetary one.”
Hill+Knowlton, one of the oldest PR firms in America, did indeed work extensively for the tobacco industry during the 20th century and is now employed by the oil and gas sector. But its track record has not stopped it winning business at COP27.
Hill+Knowlton has been accused of greenwashing over its PR work for the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – a group of 12 fossil fuel industry CEOs, including those of ExxonMobil, Shell and BP.
As well as being named on OGCI press releases since at least 2016, Hill+Knowlton has acted as the OGCI’s secretariat, according to a UN-backed website, suggesting it coordinated the group’s work.
Hill+Knowlton’s “leadership” of the OGCI earned it a satirical prize earlier this year for “environmental impact” at the “F list awards”, a tongue-in-cheek initiative aimed at exposing greenwash in the “most egregious campaigns on behalf of fossil fuel companies”.
The awards are organised by Clean Creatives, a campaign group that encourages PR and advertising agencies to boycott fossil fuel companies.
Duncan Meisel, executive director at Clean Creatives, told openDemocracy: “Hill+Knowlton were leading pushers of misinformation on behalf of the tobacco industry, and they are continuing that legacy by misleading the public and policymakers on behalf of fossil fuel polluters.”
The OGCI says on its website that it “aims to accelerate action towards a net zero emissions future consistent with the Paris Agreement” – a claim it has repeated in press releases linked to Hill+Knowlton. The goals of the Paris Agreement are to keep global warming to well below 2C, and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C.
But Meisel questioned the OGCI’s commitment to those goals.
“The International Energy Agency says that there is ‘no room’ for new oil and gas projects if we are to achieve the Paris climate goals,” he said, “but the members of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative are collectively spending tens of billions of dollars to expand production of fossil fuels. Any statement or campaign implying they support keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius is rightly classified as a lie.”
Further criticism of the OGCI’s spin has come from the campaign group Oil Change International, which described an OGCI report in 2019 on net zero emissions as “bad science, full of holes”, and the OGCI itself as “nothing but a greenwashing effort”.
This week, the climate journalist and author Naomi Klein wrote about how Egypt’s ruler Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was using COP27 to greenwash his “police state”.
Klein said that “Sisi’s Egypt is making a big show of solar panels and biodegradable straws ahead of next month’s climate summit – but in reality the regime imprisons activists and bans research”.
Hill+Knowlton did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did OGCI, which employs Hill+Knowlton to handle media inquiries, nor the COP27 spokesperson within the Egyptian government.
Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks:
Here is more climate and weather news from Monday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
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Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”