Hundreds of fossil fuel lobbyists granted access to COP26 climate talks – Totally Vegan Buzz

Hundreds of fossil fuel lobbyists granted access to COP26 climate talks

Hundreds of fossil fuel lobbyists granted access to COP26 climate talks
Image: MAURO UJETTO / Shutterstock.com

“Their influence is one of the biggest reasons why 25 years of UN climate talks have not led to real cuts in global emissions.”

The fossil fuel industry has the highest numbers of delegates attending this year’s UN climate conference. 

According to data, around 40,000 people are attending the COP26.

While Brazil has the biggest official team of negotiators with 479 delegates, the representation from the fossil fuel industry is even larger.

At least 503 fossil fuel lobbyists, with links  to  some of the world’s biggest polluting oil and gas giants, have been granted access to COP26.

This news follows reports of how fossil fuel producing countries  including Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Japan were  lobbying the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to remove recommendations that the world needs to phase out fossil fuels just days before Cop26.

More lobbyists for big polluters than any national delegation

Greenhouse gases produced by burning coal are the single biggest contributor to the climate crisis. Reducing coal consumption along with limiting methane and carbon dioxide production from other industries is considered critical in containing temperature rises across the planet.

The data analysis of the UN’s provisional list of named attendees was carried out by Corporate Accountability, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), Glasgow Calls Out Polluters and Global Witness. 

According to the report:

  • The fossil fuel lobby at COP is not only the highest in number, it is also larger than the combined total of the eight delegations from the countries worst affected by climate change in the past 20 years – Puerto Rico, Myanmar, Haiti, Philippines, Mozambique, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Pakistan.
  • Over 100 fossil fuel companies are represented at COP with 30 trade associations and membership organisations also present
  • Fossil fuel lobbyists dwarf the UNFCCC’s official indigenous constituency by around two to one.
  • 27 official country delegations registered fossil fuel lobbyists, including Canada, Russia and Brazil

‘A huge problem’

“The fossil fuel industry has spent decades denying and delaying real action on the climate crisis, which is why this is such a huge problem,” Murray Worthy, Gas Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said.

“Their influence is one of the biggest reasons why 25 years of UN climate talks have not led to real cuts in global emissions.”

He added: “With the world quickly running out of time to avert climate disaster… The case for meaningful global action must not be diverted by a festival of polluters and their mouthpieces, who have no interest in seeing the changes we need to protect people and the planet.”

‘Shut them out’

The campaign groups are calling for oil and gas companies to be banned from the summit. They cite the example of how the World Health Organization got serious about banning tobacco only after all the lobbyists for the industry were banned from WHO meetings.

Pascoe Sabido, a  researcher and campaigner for Corporate Europe Observatory said: “COP26 is being sold as the place to raise ambition, but it’s crawling with fossil fuel lobbyists whose only ambition is to stay in business. 

“The likes of Shell and BP are inside these talks despite openly admitting to upping their production of fossil gas. If we’re serious about raising ambition, then fossil fuel lobbyists should be shut out of the talks and out of our national capitals.”

“Instead, it is governments and communities from countries most affected by climate change that are finding themselves shut out, despite the UK claiming it has ensured an in-person and inclusive climate summit. Clearly that ambition only stretches as far as the fossil fuel industry. We need fossil free politics.”

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