Outrage fades over Coco-Cola sponsorship of COP27 climate summit

This story was originally published by The Guardian and appears here as part of the climatic table collaboration.

A sponsorship agreement between this year UN climate conference and Coca-Cola, which has been described as the the world’s biggest polluter” by an environmental group, has been labeled “greenwashing” by activists.

COP27, which will take place in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6-18, is the world’s leading forum for governments, companies and environmental organizations to face the climate emergency.

Emma Priestland, coordinator of Break Free From Plastic, a global alliance of organizations and individuals, said: ‘Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of COP27 is pure’green wash.’ Coca-Cola is one of the largest users of plastic in the world.

“On four yearswe have discovered that Cola-Cola is the drink of the world top plastic polluter in our annual brand audits,” he said. “It’s amazing that a company so tied to the fossil fuel industry can sponsor such a vital climate meeting.”

Environmental activists described the association as puzzling. A petition initiated by a delegate at COP26 in Glasgow has called for an end to corporate sponsorship of the COP talks, starting with the removal of Cola-Cola.

John Hocevar, director of Greenpeace USA’s oceans campaign, said: “It is disconcerting that Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest plastic polluter in all Break Free From Plastic Brand Audits — will sponsor this year UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Egypt.

“Coca-Cola produces 120 billion disposable plastic bottles a year, and 99 percent of plastics are made from fossil fuels, making both the plastic crisis and the climate crisis worse,” he said.

“They have yet to acknowledge that this is a problem or explain how they will meet their climate goals without ending their addiction to plastic. This association undermines the very purpose of the event it seeks to sponsor.”

The cooperation agreement with Coca-Cola was signed by the Egyptian government. Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo, Ahmed Rady, Coca-Cola’s Vice President of Operations for North Africa, said: “Coca-Cola’s firm belief that working together through meaningful partnerships It will create shared opportunities for communities and people around the world.” world and in Egypt.”

Plastics advocates call it “surprising” that a multinational they say is the world’s biggest polluter has sponsored the key UN climate meeting. #COP27 #CocaCola

The announcement was met with shock and disappointment on social media, where it was condemned as yet another example of corporate greenwashing.

Unilever, the multinational consumer goods company, was the lead partner at COP26 in Glasgow last year, while AG Barr, maker of Irn-Bru, was the exclusive supplier of soft drinks and water at two convention centers in Glasgow during the conference. The Irn-Bru deal was seen as a marketing coup for the company, which included a Surprise endorsement from US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave him a can.

Sponsorship of COP26 was said to be worth around £250m, with companies involved including DarlingHitachi, National Network, scottish powerMicrosoft, NatWest, Sainsbury’s and Unilever.

Coca-Cola said: “We share the goal of removing waste from the ocean and appreciate efforts to raise awareness of this challenge. We are prepared to do our part and have set ambitious goals for our business, starting with helping to collect and recycle one bottle or can for every bottle we sell, regardless of where it comes from, by 2030.

“In 2020, we signed a joint statement urging member states of the United Nations to adopt a global treaty to address the problem of plastic waste through a holistic circular economy approach… Our support for COP27 It is in line with our science-based goal of reducing absolute carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2030, and our ambition for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

However, Hocevar said: “Reducing plastic production and ending single-use plastic is in line with the goal of keeping global warming below 1.5C.

“If Coca-Cola really wants to solve the plastic and climate crisis, it needs to turn off the plastics tap.”

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