What is the United States Chamber of Commerce? Many Americans hold the misconception that it’s a government agency. It is not. It is the most significant lobbying group in the United States. And, as our guests today on Sea Change Radio explain, it’s a formidable foe of environmental protections and could easily be called an organized group for pollution-advocacy. This week, host Alex Wise talks with environmental ethicist Philip Cafaro, who explains the role that the US Chamber of Commerce plays in promoting constant growth, and how that premise inherently contradicts environmental sustainability. Next, Shaun Goho, lawyer and lecturer at Harvard Law School, dissects the US Chamber of Commerce’s own statement on environmental issues and demonstrates how its current policies diverge drastically from the Chamber’s 19th Century roots.
The US Chamber of Commerce’s controversial position on climate legislation highlights the key role such business intermediaries (or BINGOs in UN-speak – Business and Industry NGOs) play in devising climate policy. Other BINGOs, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Commission on Environment and Energy, focus on how business and industry can help solve the climate crisis. Continue reading