LEADING OR LAGGING? European Business Summit going in wrong direction

17 May 2011

Brussels, May 17, 2011 – The European Business Summit is a symbol of the disproportionate influence corporations, particularly lobby group BusinessEurope, have on European policy-making, Friends of the Earth Europe is warning on the eve of the event which opens tomorrow (May 18) in Brussels.

The environment group is using the occasion of the largest business lobby event in the Brussels calendar to call on EU decision-makers to reject the skewed arguments of the summit organiser, BusinessEurope, and the most polluting industry sectors it represents, such as the steel, oil, chemical and cement producers.

The theme of this year's event is 'Europe in the world: leading or lagging?'. [1]

Paul de Clerck, corporates campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "When it comes to the climate crisis, key business sectors are leading Europe, but in the wrong direction. Lobby group BusinessEurope positions itself as the voice of the European business community, yet it primarily represent energy-intensive industries. This summit is a symbol of the way business laggards are blocking the effective climate action the world desperately needs."

The summit gives corporate representatives the opportunity to promote their agenda to European decision-makers and symbolises the close relationship between some parts of business and the European Commission. At least 10 European Commissioners and several government ministers are due to attend this year's summit.

Key business sectors are blocking higher emissions reduction targets for Europe and failing to acknowldge the economic benefits of moving to a sustainable low-carbon economy. Evidence shows that a green economy will create millions of new jobs. [2]



[1] European Business Summit 2011: www.ebsummit.eu

[2] Sorbonne University found that a higher EU target of 30% emission cuts by 2020 would increase GDP by 620 billion Euros and create up to six million additional jobs: http://www.european-climate-forum.net/fileadmin/ecf-documents/Press/A_New_Growth_Path_for_Europe__Synthesis_Report.pdf