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Climate Change

09th Nov 2021

There are more fossil fuel lobbyists at COP26 than delegates from any single country

Danny Jones

Fossil fuel lobbyists

No wonder nothing ever gets done at these ‘crucial’ climate summits

In a somewhat staggering statistic (though perhaps not that surprising) there are apparently more delegates tied with known fossil fuel interests at COP26 than there are from any one country.

As reported by the BBC, around 503 of those attending the annual climate conference have links to the fossil fuel industry and vested interests in oil and gas companies.

COP26 delegates with fossil fuel interests

To put that into context, there are currently around 4,000 attendees from 24 different countries at the summit in Glasgow – with UN data suggesting that Brazil has the most with 479 delegates – meaning that around an eighth of those lobbying are direct proponents for the main sector driving global warming.

In setting the parameters for which people class as said fossil fuel lobbyists, their research has focused in on attendees who are part of a delegation from a trade association or a member of a group that represents the interests of oil and gas companies.

Pretty straightforward, it’s just shocking how many of them are there.

The full attendee list was obtained by Global Witness (GW), an investigative human rights NGO that is helping campaigners, Glasgow Calls Out Polluters, who want these lobbyists removed from the conference due to their clear bias and conflicting interests.

COP26 protest Scotland

One of the largest single delegations identified is the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), with 103 members present, including three people from British Petroleum (BP).

While many would argue that it is better to have, for all intents and purposes, the opposition around the table for critical diplomatic talks like these, it’s understandable that many struggle to sincerely believe they hope to protect anything other than business interests.

GW’s Murray Worthy stated said “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”, adding that “their influence is one of the biggest reasons why 25 years of UN climate talks have not led to real cuts in global emissions.”

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