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Barclays Celebrated at UN Despite Coal Mining, As Cuts Remittances

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 23 -- Alongside the UN's Climate Summit on September 23, corporations paraded through the UN Press Briefing Room promoting themselves and their good deeds.

  Inner City Press asked Barclays' vice chair Jeremy Wilson about his firm cutting off remittances to Somalia, and directly on climate, funding mountain-top removal coal mining and Bumi Resources in Indonesia, displacing many people.

  Wilson did not directly respond to these issues, except to say that things "move more quickly" on some areas.  Did he mean, geographic areas?

  Inner City Press asked a panel on the UN Private Sector Forum, including Statoil, about that firm's exploration off Myanmar, and impact on Mozambique. The answer came from another panelist, that one should or can look at a company's trajectory and not where it is at the moment.

  The point, though, is whether the UN should be praising and "blue-washing" corporations without asking about coal, remittances, displacement. What are the standards?

 (On the positive side, when the Free UN Coalition for Access asked about bike-share programs later in the day, HABITAT's Joan Clos and Alain Flausch, Secretary General of International Association of Public Transport, gave impassioned defenses of such programs, on climate and life-style and "the final mile.")

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