Fossil-fuel lobbyists have attended UN climate talks at least 7,200 instances over the previous 20 years to water down efforts to deal with climate change, in response to a brand new evaluation by the Kick Big Polluters Out coalition, a worldwide community of greater than 450 organisations.
The evaluation, revealed on Tuesday (20 November), comes forward of the following COP28 in Dubai (30 November) and after years of controversy over business interference within the talks.
Just final yr, Coca-Cola, one of the world’s greatest plastic polluters, sponsored the negotiations. And it was not alone.
Eighteen of the 20 sponsors of COP27 have been linked to the fossil-fuel business, in response to analysis by the Brussels-based Corporate Europe Observatory.
And controversy already surrounds the upcoming COP28, which shall be chaired by Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the highest 15 corporations answerable for carbon emissions, in response to the US-based Climate Accountability Institute.
“The COP must be freed from polluting companies, or the COP becomes partly responsible for global collapse,” Pablo Fajardo, from the Union of Affected Communities by Texaco/Chevron, stated.
Since 2003, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) has granted at least 7,200 passes to commerce associations and delegates from the world’s biggest-polluting oil and fuel corporations, the evaluation exhibits.
The majority of these passes (6,581) got to representatives of commerce associations together with the world’s greatest fossil-fuel polluters, and 945 of these went to disclosed staff of corporations such because the ‘Big 5’ oil giants — ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, and TotalEnergies.
One commerce organisation, the International Emissions Trading (*20*) (IETA) — a “purely business group” based in 1999 in response to their web site — has itself obtained virtually 2,800 passes to climate talks since COP9 in 2003.
“When you have industry’s emission trading attack dog (IETA) sending more lobbyists since 2003 than scores of Global South countries combined, is it any wonder negotiations have wasted time we don’t have prioritising dangerous distractions and false solutions like carbon markets?” Pat Bohland from Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) complained.
Indeed, carbon seize shall be one of the recent subjects at the UN-led climate talks in Dubai. The expertise is being touted by oil and fuel lobbyists as an answer to the climate disaster, whereas NGOs resembling Global Witness level out that greater than 80 p.c of proposed initiatives worldwide have failed.
Over the previous 20 years, Shell has been the corporate that has despatched probably the most workers members to UN-led talks, with round 115 passes issued by the UNFCCC, in response to the analysis.
Just final yr, Shell declared an EU lobbying price range of €4m, adopted by Exxon’s €3.5m, making it one of the highest 10 spending corporations in 2022.
In addition, all the highest 20 enterprise teams at the climate talks are headquartered within the Global North, undermining the affect of these within the Global South who’ve least contributed to the climate disaster.
Under the radar
COP delegates should be hosted by an official delegation from a authorities or accredited organisation, however till no longer all of them declare their affiliation, thus slipping below the UNFCC radar.
Last yr, for instance, Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, attended the climate talks as half of a German NGO delegation. And former BP CEO Bernard Looney did in order half of the Mauritanian delegation.
“The UN has no conflict-of-interest rules for COPs,” stated George Carew-Jones, from the YOUNGO youth consistency at the UNFCC.
“This unbelievable fact has allowed fossil-fuel lobbyists to undermine talks for years, weakening the process that we are all relying on to secure our futures,” Carew-Jones added.
The battle of curiosity insurance policies and accountability mechanisms are nonetheless not robust sufficient to make sure that these teams don’t impede efforts to avert complete climate collapse, the coalition believes.
Last June, the UNFCC took a step within the path of tightening these guidelines by mandating COP attendees to reveal their affiliation previous to their participation. A step welcomed by the civil society organisations, however one which must be adopted by many others, they stated.
“Addressing the undue influence of the fossil fuel industry and other ‘Big Polluters’ must begin, not end, with this step forward,” Tasneem Essop, govt director at Climate Action Network International stated in June 2023.