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January/February 2011

One oil company alone – Exxon-Mobil – spent $19 million on promoting scepticism about global warming in order to water down any legislation on carbon emissions. A group of banks, headed by Goldman Sachs, has in a similar way fended off tighter controls on derivatives trading, one of the main causes of the 2008 global financial collapse. This is just the tip of the iceberg. With plenty of parties, politicians and ex-politicians for sale to the highest corporate bidder, what does this tell us about how we are governed? How can people begin to claim power back from the masters of spin, PR and brown paper envelopes? This issue of the New Internationalist exposes the murky world of corporate lobbying – and suggests what can be done about it.

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