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Big oil is the biggest figure in the UN climate talks

Activists hold cans after spilling fake oil during a speech near the site of the UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Activists hold cans after spilling fake oil during a speech near the site of the UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Photo: Scott Heppell (AP)

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – Largest presence on UN Climate Negotiations there seem to be people in Big Oil’s pocket this year. A report published on Monday, finds more than 500 lobbyists and others those with ties to the fossil fuel industry participate in UN negotiations either as members of trade organizations or as part of country delegations.

Scotland has registered thousands of delegates for the UN negotiations, which are entering a critical phase this week as they work towards a resolution. To find out which delegates might have dirty addictions, Global Witness and partners Corporate Accountability, Corporate Europe Observatory and Glasgow Calls Out Polluters reviewed the list of attendees for the two-week conference. They noted those who registered as directly affiliated with fossil fuel companies, including Shell, Gazprom and BP, as well as people who came as part of trade organizations that were clearly associated with the industry. In total, at least 503 people associated with the industry took part in the negotiations, some of them in the official delegations of 27 countries, including the official delegations of Canada, Russia and Brazil.

This number may seem small considering that there are tens of thousands of people here. But in context, it’s pretty overwhelming. Overall, the report found that the fossil fuel industry has twice as many lobbyists as the indigenous population. it hurts very hard fossil fuel extraction – in negotiations. The contingent of fossil fuels is so large that it is actually more than the sum of eight delegations from countries most affected by climate change: Puerto Rico, Myanmar, Haiti, the Philippines, Mozambique, Bahamas, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Last year, the British government announced that fossil fuel producers were banned from filing an application as a financial sponsor. But oil and gas companies kept trying: documents show BP, Shell and Equinor met dozens of times with British ministers on the eve of Glasgow.

We were told that we were not expected, ”said the CEO of Shell and personal roast party Ben van Beurden said during a call about income last month.

But fossil fuel companies seem to have found a loophole nonetheless. It is one thing to ban BP from displaying their logo in the COP showroom, but quite another thing is the UK government does not allow them to participate in the negotiations, where the real policy is determined – and the fate of vulnerable countries depends on. the world from their product.

“If we are serious about raising ambition, then fossil fuel lobbyists should be excluded from negotiations and kept out of our national capitals,” said Pasco Sabido, researcher and campaigner at the Corporate Europe Observatory, in a statement. “Instead, it is governments and communities from countries hardest hit by climate change that are being closed off despite the UK claiming to have provided a personal and inclusive climate summit. Obviously, these ambitions only extend to the fossil fuel industry. We need fossils politics.”

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