High-ranking public officals frequently move to jobs in the private energy sector and vice versa, without any cooling-off periods. Photo: ©Shutterstock – blurAZ

Revolving doors threat to climate policy

On 2 May the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament launched a report that examines the relationships between governments and the fossil fuel industry. The study covers 13 European countries and has found 88 cases of so called “revolving doors”, where individuals from high positions in public office have moved to jobs in private companies engaged in fossil energy or vice-versa.

It is noted that Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain and the UK regulate the issue to varying degrees, while only Austria, Denmark, Hungary and Sweden have no specific legislation.

Though as the results show “legislation to regulate the revolving door does not always effectively address the problem, either because there are no enforcement mechanisms or if there are, they are not always used, or because the rules are easily circumvented or there are gaps in the legislation for certain public officials”.

Of the cases identified 28 involve ministers, prime ministers, deputy prime ministers or secretaries of state. One striking example is that of former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who left office in 2005 and went on to chair the advisory board of Nord Stream AG, a Gazprom-led joint venture to build a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.

The report recommends countries to introduce regulation that ensures a minimum “cooling-off period” of three years for officials and managers moving between the public and private sectors.

Revolving doors and the fossil fuel industry https://www.greens-efa.eu/files/doc/docs/3d2ec57d6d6aa101bab92f4396c1219...

 

In this issue