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Stifling the Climate Policy Debate?
The Center for Public Integrity, an NGO "dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern" is expressing apprehension over the number of lobbyists working on climate change issues. According to CPI's article, "The Climate Change Lobby Explosion," there's been an "increase of more than 300 percent in the number of lobbyists on climate change in just five years...."

CPI recognizes that the lobbyists represent diverse interests including industry, labor, municipalities and environmental groups. For example, the article notes that "Cities, counties, and municipal agencies have more than 100 lobbyists" working on various aspects of the climate change issue. Similarly, "Unions had about 60 lobbyists on global warming last year."

Unlike instances where NGOs are concerned that lobbyists provide a certain group with excessive influence, CPI seems most concerned by the policy debate itself. As NGO states, "the lobbying onslaught has also alarmed some influential voices in the climate debate, who fear that many compromises among the myriad interests will forestall the sort of aggressive action that's really needed." In short, some stakeholders favor curtailing the climate policy debate so as to help speed enactment of the preferred policies of select "influential voices."

CPI does note that "many environmental advocates, including mainstream groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council, have treated the proliferation of voices engaged on climate as a positive." These environmental watchdogs are correct. A vigorous, informed multi-stakeholder debate is essential to ventilating and assessing the many complex scientific, technical and economic climate-related issues and to developing effective policies through a transparent process. Stifling the debate serves only those interests who seek to have their preferred policies enacted without deliberation or dissent.

See CPI article

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