By: Our Correspondent

Pandey, who is also involved with National Alliance of People’s Movements and the NGO Asha Parivar, charged that “It is time for community-based renewable energy systems and policy that are determined by the people, not the world’s largest energy corporations. It’s time to kick big polluters out of the process for good. We also need to ascertain civil and criminal liability of corporations for irreparable damage they cause to our environment and people’s lives.”

The call to “Kick Big Polluters Out” is part of the global Reclaim Power movement led by a coalition focused on transforming the world’s energy systems in order to ensure the people’s right to clean and renewable energy. Reclaim Power challenges dirty and harmful energy sources and is organizing for a swift and just transition to public and community controlled renewable energy systems. The coalition is under the umbrella of Corporate Accountability International, which partnered with NGOs and governments globally to take on the tobacco industry in the United Nations. The resulting global treaty on tobacco control has led to effective lifesaving national and local policy, according to its backers.

Taking a page out of Big Tobacco’s playbook, the fossil fuel industry has positioned itself as part of the solution to the very crisis it has knowingly driven for more than thirty years. Recently, some of the world’s biggest polluters, including coal miner BHP Billiton and oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, announced a collaboration to advise governments on how to combat global warming without harming their economies. Such a corporate-driven initiative is just one of many example of how effectively the industry has inserted itself into the process.

The Bonn meeting is the last time to negotiate the text in preparation for  the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris in December.  COP 21 is largely seen as a make-or-break moment for the process, which has so far maintained a snail’s pace of progress since its inception in 1992.

“We appeal to the Indian government to send government officers with demonstrated competence on climate justice to these meetings and not those who will instead attend to trade or business interests,” Pandey said.

With reporting by Citizen News Service