Economic Globalisation vs. Climate Stability
here is no escaping the conclusion that environmental concerns have been usurped by corporate interests in the UN climate negotiations. Using the full toolbox of corporate lobbying and greenwash techniques, business has succeeded in promoting itself and global free trade in greenhouse gases as the solutions for the climate crisis. The Kyoto Protocol has been corrupted in order to give TNCs - the main culprits behind accelerating climate change - a privileged status as implementers of the market-based 'solutions'.  Carbon trading opens up new markets for corporations and enables them to fully exploit the financial opportunities arising from the climate crisis, whether from the massive markets in environmental end-of-pipe technologies or through the widening range of subsidised climate fraud. The inclusion of market-based solutions in the Kyoto Protocol has opened up a Pandora's Box that will end in the complete undermining of the Kyoto reduction targets. In the process, the global warming debate has been reduced to a technical discussion, and pressing fundamental questions about efficiency and equity are ignored.
These deeply disturbing developments are intrinsically linked to the ideology behind the ongoing process of economic globalisation. Northern governments remain blindly committed to the neo-liberal dogma that embraces deregulated market as the solution to every imaginable problem. After having seen governments agree to the marketisation of one area of society after the other, the commercialisation of the atmosphere should not come as a big surprise. Emissions trading and other 'market-based solutions' (such as voluntary agreements between government and business) fit seamlessly in the political climate that pervaded the 1990s. Influenced by corporate 'environmentalist' groupings like the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), governments and international institutions have embraced the idea that there is no contradiction between corporations pursuing profits and corporations solving environmental problems.
Indeed, according to this line of thinking, market liberalisation is good for the environment, as corporations are seen to know best how to solve ecological problems (through technological improvements). The dominance of market-based mechanisms in the UN climate talks consolidates this shift in the discussion away from technology transfer and the redistribution of public funding to assist climate efforts in Southern countries, and towards a reliance on another damaging neo-liberal trend of the 1990s- private capital flows. Predictably, industry lobbyists are also profiting from the climate debate to call for further deregulation of barriers to foreign investments, echoing the corporate ambitions behind the failed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).  The OECD's Business Dialogue on Climate Change, for instance, stated in May that a "framework which reduces political, economic, and regulatory uncertainty will increase capital flows and lead to the diffusion of technology," specifying free capital flows and protection of intellectual property rights as key demands. 
The massive push to model the Kyoto Protocol rulebook in their interests is part of a much broader, multifaceted offensive by corporations and their lobby groups. The aim is nothing less than the deregulation and marketisation of every field of society, and the pre-emption of any movement towards binding regulation or government intervention that would interfere with corporate conduct. The very same struggle that is being played out between corporations and activists in the climate discussions is also taking place in other global arenas, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and in the United Nations with its Global Compact with TNCs. Northern governments aggressively identify with the commercial interests of 'their' corporations in the climate talks, just as they do with international trade policies in the WTO. For instance, the US government's Climate Change Action Plan explicitly mentions how its climate strategies aim at "positioning our country to compete and win in the global market." 
A closer look at corporate attempts to appear environmentally responsible exposes the irreparable damage that would result if businesses were left to their own devices in countering climate change. In fact, it is the corporate strategy of globalising unsustainable Northern lifestyles and consumption patterns that constitutes one of the most serious threats to the earth's ecosystems today. Behind the myth of self-regulation is a naked attempt by corporations to control the global environmental debate before public pressure forces them to enact real change.
Corporations try to sell the illusion that continued trade and investment liberalisation, such as embodied in the WTO agreements or the collapsed MAI, are a prerequisite to sustainable development. But their ideal deregulated economic framework only increases the global dependency upon a fossil fuel-based development path. WTO agreements serve to consolidate and globalise unfair and totally unsustainable agriculture, energy and transport models that rely on an ever-increasing use of resources and accelerate global climate change.
The growing economic
and political power of TNCs - another prime feature of economic globalisation
- has become an intimidating barrier to effective action against global
warming. The process of corporate-led globalisation involves floods of
international mergers and the creation of mega-corporations with massive
resources and political clout. This dramatically increased economic and
political reliance on corporations throws up new hurdles to making governments
reject the corporate climate agenda. It is hardly surprising that Southern
countries are eager to grab opportunities to reap additional income through
selling carbon credits, by providing space for industrial tree plantations,
and so forth. Most of these countries are crippled by foreign debt, and
following intervention by the IMF their economies have been restructured
to depend on luring in foreign investors and an unsustainable over-dependency