Toute l'actu sur la protection de l'environnement

COP27: Coca-Cola, a divisive choice of sponsor

Environmentalists do not understand why Egypt, the host country of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), has chosen the beverage brand Coca-Cola as the event’s sponsor. The American company is said to be the world’s biggest plastic polluter, producing 120 billion disposable plastic bottles per year. 

The 27th United Nations Climate Conference (COP27), which takes place from 6 to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. This major meeting for governments, businesses and environmental groups, which aims to stop global warming, is sponsored by the Coca-Cola brand. But for environmental activists, Coca-Cola’s sponsorship is « another example of corporate greenwashing ».

« Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of COP27 is pure greenwashing. Over four years, in our annual corporate surveys, we found that Coca-Cola was the world’s biggest plastic polluter. It is astonishing that a company with such strong ties to the fossil fuel industries is allowed to sponsor such a crucial climate meeting, » says Emma Priestland of Break Free From Plastic, an international organisation that fights plastic pollution.

Almost 99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels

For the environmental organisation Greenpeace, Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of COP27 is « incomprehensible ». « Coca-Cola produces 120 billion disposable plastic bottles a year, and 99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels, adding to the plastic and climate crisis. If Coca-Cola really wants to solve the plastic and climate crisis, it needs to turn off its plastic tap. End Coca-Cola’s reliance on single-use plastic, » says John Hocevar, Greenpeace USA’s Oceans Campaigner.

A petition to remove Coca-Cola from the list of COP27 sponsors has been launched by Georgia Elliott-Smith, a climate activist who attended COP26 in Glasgow. As of 8 October 2022, the petition had already been signed by 67,826 people, out of a target of 75,000.

This wave of anti-Coca-Cola protest began on 28 September 2022 when the Egyptian government announced the partnership with the brand, welcoming the « shared opportunities for communities and people around the world and in Egypt ». For its part, Coca-Cola says it wants to « do its part » to meet the challenge of « eliminating waste in the ocean ». And the American soft drink giant has been multiplying initiatives to fight plastic pollution in Africa in recent years. From Kisumu in Kenya to Lagos in Nigeria and the Ugandan capital Kampala, Coca-Cola supports initiatives to collect and recycle plastic waste through start-ups and local authorities.

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