Strange Bedfellows at UN World Summit

Our latest issue of PR Watch exposed the gap between words and deeds at the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. Amid lofty-sounding proclamations, the Bush administration and business lobbyists are blocking measurable standards and accountability, while pausing for periodic photo opportunities with the same environmental, labor and human rights groups that they are working to neutralize. The most recent example involved a joint statement put out by Greenpeace and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD). As Tom Turner of Earthjustice observes, this is an odd collaboration, since WBCSD's members include "some companies generally considered environmental scofflaws -- Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum being the most prominent -- and it has had a difficult relationship with the environmental community since its founding several years ago."