Monday marks the beginning of the final week of the United Nation climate negotiations in Lima, Peru. Delegates and observers are expecting a flurry of activity as parties prepare to cascade energy into the Paris climate talks in 2015, where a global accord is expected to be drafted. With 2014 poised to be the hottest year on record, the global heads of state need to show more urgency and boldness.

Last year's talks in Warsaw, Poland were heavily criticized due to the overwhelming corporate influence. Promotional material handed out around the conference donned corporate logos, the conference president was removed for lack of corporate allegiance and civil society walked out, calling the conference a corporate dog and pony show.


Due to last year's failure, many this year are keenly observing how corporations are participating in the negotiating process. Fossil fuel companies participating in the Conference of the Parties (COP) process is nothing new. Last year, the large coal companies were viewed as one of the key obstructionists in the legitimacy of the process, even having the audacity to host their own coal and climate conference during the same week.

Here in Lima, the fossil fuel agents have decided to once again play the card of false prophet. While this article is not to debate the credibility of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), the fact remains that CCS is not currently commercially viable nor proven to be safe nor effective. According to M.I.T.'s Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies database, there are only five proposed CCS sites in the United States, with only two currently under development. Looking at the rest of the planet, the technological capacity for such opportunities is heavily weighted to the global north.

The Global CCS Institute will be hosting an event at the conference on Monday entitled "Why Divest from Fossil Fuels When a Future with Low Emissions Fossil Fuel Energy Use is Already a Reality?". Their panel of experts includes David Hone, chief climate adviser for Shell, and Milton Catelin, CEO of the World Coal Association. As the divestment movement continues to gain speed, the fossil fuel industry has fallen back to using scare tactics. The event is billed as a "session aiming to explore what the likely implications could be for nations wishing to balance their growing energy needs." The fossil fuel industry is annually investing $88 billion into further exploration for new fuel reserves, according to a new report by the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International. While they continue to push for future development, the global scientific community and International Energy Association have publicly stated that we cannot consume more than one-third of the known global stocks and stay within the ranges deemed for a habitable planet.

Do Hone, Catelin and the corporations that they represent believe that we are able to store the emissions from the other two-thirds of known reserves? International foundations, universities and proactive businesses around the world are divesting from the fossil fuel industry because investments into future extraction and false prophets such as CCS technology make bad business sense. We cannot afford to be investing money as well as our future into corporations who put both at risk. While the industry attempts to position the argument on the morals of energy poverty issues, their math just does not add up. As the price of renewable energy technology continues to decrease, the fossil fuel industry is positioned to become at risk of stranding assets. The global economy is set to shift toward energy sources that do not put at risk the health of our communities and health of our planet.

The International Renewable Energy Association has called for the doubling of investment into projects globally to meet our future energy needs. Global leaders and investors must meet the call to action. Putting money into clean energy is not just a choice for the safety of our planet, but also for the growth of our economy. According to David Levine of the American Sustainable Business Council, "Studies show that renewable energy projects create several times as many jobs as fossil fuel projects. That should make it an obvious choice for policy makers and investors." With the opportunity to create green jobs and wisely investment in real solutions to climate change, the choice is clear. The fossil fuel industry, knowing this, is clearly desperate to protect business interests and image. But many here in Lima are not fooled, and CCS is not the answer to climate change. If the fossil fuel corporations are truly concerned about climate change, they would be talking about keeping the carbon in the ground in the first place and transitioning to renewable energy instead.

Green is the program director for the Climate Action Business Association (CABA), a Boston-based coalition of businesses taking targeted action on climate change. As an activist, Michael has played strategic roles in several of the largest national, as well as international campaigns dedicated to fighting climate change. Since 2012, he has served as a representative to the United Nations focusing on international climate science and policy. He also serves as the chairman for the ASBC's Committee on Energy and Environmental Policy.