There have never been so many oilmen at a climate conference

At least 2,456 oil and gas lobbyists are attending the climate conference. Record. COP28, which takes place in Dubai until 12 December, sees an unprecedented presence at key climate talks from representatives of some of the world’s biggest polluters.

Facing a record year for temperatures, extreme climate events and rising greenhouse gas emissions, lobbyists for fossil fuel companies are attending the United Nations talks en masse. This is almost four times higher than last year, when the summit was held in Egypt. In Sharm El Sheikh, 626 were accredited in the 27th edition, while in Glasgow (Cop26) there were “only” 503 representatives for these industries. This is a fact that will slow down progress in the energy transition that is vital to saving the planet.

Vulnerable communities pushed aside

The analysis was conducted by the Kick Out the Big Polluters (Kbpo) coalition, which points out that the 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists are numerically inferior only to the Brazilian delegation (3,081 people). A significant attendance, but justified by the fact that President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva aims to host the 30th edition. At the top are 4,409 accredited individuals from the United Arab Emirates, which is hosting this edition curated by Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. Managing representative of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc). This may be why oil companies feel comfortable intervening in Dubai.

The report is quite impressive considering that the total number of representatives of the ten most vulnerable countries is only 1,509. The existence of industry leads to a diminishing presence of those who represent the “front line” of the crisis; Populations face dire consequences: the disappearance of islands due to rising sea levels and desertified regions left without food.

Who brought Italy?

NGO experts also point out that many fossil fuel lobbyists gained access to COP28 as part of a trade association. Nine of the ten largest of these groups came from the so-called “Global North”. The largest coalition (116 people) is that of the Geneva-based International Emissions Trading Association (Ieta), which has brought representatives from Dutch Shell, France’s TotalEnergies and Norway’s Equinor to Dubai.

There are also contributions from individual countries, such as Italy, which brought a team of Eni representatives. France is no exception, including fossil fuel giants such as TotalEnergies and EDF in its national delegation. The European Union is also setting a bad example by hiring employees of BP, ENI and ExxonMobil.

“poisonous” presence

The climate conference hosted by the United Nations is becoming a key opportunity to advance an agenda fueled by fossil fuels. These are the same ones that need to be radically reduced, given the damage they inflict on populations around the world, especially frontline communities like those in the Amazon.

The number of “oil and gas” lobbyists at the Dubai talks exceeds seven times the number of domestic official representatives present, with only 316 people present. “Do you really think Shell, Chevron, or ExxonMobil are sending lobbyists to passively observe these talks? To develop climate solutions that will benefit the communities whose air and water they pollute? To put people and the planet beyond profit and their greedy dollars?” ?” Young American climate activist Alexia Leclercq.

“The toxic presence of the Big Polluters has bogged us down for years and prevented us from advancing the pathways needed to keep fossil fuels in the ground. They are the reason COP28 is clouded by a fog of climate denial, not climate reality.” activist For these reasons, the demand from countries in the global south, public officials and civil society in general to exclude representatives of these companies from the talks is becoming increasingly urgent. Their presence will prevent climate negotiations from moving in the right direction: a choice that can no longer be postponed.

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Source: Today IT