Corporations cashing in on climate at UN conference in Morocco

The sharks are circling.

At least, that’s what it felt like in the convention halls just outsiadam-houser-w-saudi-investorsde COP22, the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

As world leaders attempt to implement the Paris Climate Agreement signed last year, crony capitalists are gathering, eager to take a bite out of the giant heap of cash allotted for the UN Green Climate Fund, and massive national grants and subsidies.

cop-22-electric-carThe convention was jam packed with high tech and expensive displays from organizations like wind and solar power companies and even an association offering “climate risk coverage” for climate change disasters.

With thousands of delegates attempting to put their new-found billions to use, these companies smell blood in the water.

One wind power company with the fitting name of “Gaia Energy,” a self-prescribed “large scale renewable energy developer,” admitted how unreliable these farms really are: “It will take 7 years to complete one wind cop-22-adam-houser-at-corporate-displaysenergy project…In a good case, [the turbines] will spin 50% of the time.”

The regions of Africa are proving to be a gold mine for companies looking to expand their so-called “green” reach. A map displayed at Gaia’s setup shows projects in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Cote D-Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and even Iran.

cop22-electric-carsRenault Nissan was also in attendance, showing off their fancy new electric car available in Morocco. According to the salesman, the model on display will cost between 17,000 and 26,000 Euro, with a range of only 130 miles on a full charge. That’s under ideal driving conditions. After staying here in Marrakech for the better part of a week, I can say I’ve only seen one electric car charging station. And that was at the UN itself.

Assistant Manager for Communications & External Affairs of Acwa Power, Abdelmajid Benjelloun, explained to us the Morocco Solar Power Plan through slick virtual reality machines. The plant, known as the NOOR, is to be finished sometime in 2017. Unlike other photovoltaic (PV) panels, the NOOR uses a system called concentrating solar power or CSP. This allows the plant to provide energy well into the night hours, even without the sun shining, by using molten salt that creates steam and powers a turbine.

However, the promise of an efficient system that requires water in the middle cop22-noor-solar-plant-modelof an African desert to provide minimal amounts of power seems similar to the mirage of an oasis.

We asked Benjelloun about the killing of birds and wildlife by solar plants. His response: “Oh…that’s a good question.” He couldn’t provide any other answer.

It’s clear that while the delegates and heads of state wine and dine, crony capitalists are gathering around, trying to snag as much money as they can, regardless of the consequences.

What happens if the next U.S. president tells the sharks they will have no more  of our money to feed on?

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About the Author: Adam Houser

Adam Houser coordinates student leaders for CFACT's collegians program.

  • Pam Dunn

    CUT OFF ALL money from the USA government to any and all Solar and wind projects; Tell them to “sell” the idea to investors with no government money to back them.

    • Brin Jenkins

      I’m in favor of research and development, the crackers idea of full scale implimentation of unproven technology was very wrong but I don’t wish to stifle innovation. The best use for solar is heating domestic water, in the UK I have seen the price fall from $4000 to $550. That makes sense for me.

  • wally12

    Trump’s initial statement, that climate change is a hoax, has me pleased. I am hoping he lets the UN and the climate change believers early after he takes office that the US will withdraw from the Paris agreement and that the US is no longer “For Sale” and that all those nations that are looking for a “Sugar Daddy” will need to look for another sucker for funding.

  • This is what folk’s need to know. June 22, 2014 Shut down costly slush fund: Opposing view

    Export-Import Bank’s actions are nothing more than market-distorting subsidies. What do Solyndra, Enron and Mexican drug cartels have in common? The answer may come as a surprise to most Americans. It’s a little-known agency called the Export-Import Bank, a government-sponsored slush fund that gives taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign entities to buy U.S. exports. Solyndra, Enron and even Mexican drug cartels have benefited from these wasteful subsidies.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/06/22/export-import-bank-club-for-growth-editorials-debates/11244061/