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10 Nov 2022

Ruth Michaelson, The Guardian

COP27: ‘Explosion’ in number of fossil fuel lobbyists attending conference

"Explosion’ in number of fossil fuel lobbyists at Cop27 climate summit", 10 November 2022

There are more than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists at the Cop27 climate conference, a rise of more than 25% from last year and outnumbering any one frontline community affected by the climate crisis.

There are 636 lobbyists from the oil and gas industries registered to attend the UN event in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. At Glasgow, the figure was 503, which outnumbered the delegation of any single country. This year the only country with a larger delegation is the United Arab Emirates, hosts of Cop28 next year, which has 1,070 registered delegates, up from 176 last year...

The data on lobbyists, compiled by the organisations Corporate Accountability, Global Witness and Corporate Europe Observatory, shows the growing influence of oil and gas interests at the climate talks. While many environmental groups hoping to encourage the transition away from fossil fuels say it can be beneficial to bring private interests to the negotiating table, these benefits risk being outweighed by the sheer size of the delegations and suspicions that lobbyists attend the talks to slow progress rather than discuss limiting their own industries.

Civil society groups fear that the increasing presence of fossil fuel lobbyists risks stymieing negotiations at an essential time, amid efforts to keep global temperature rises within the 1.5C of warming scientists agree is needed to prevent catastrophic climate change...

... the United States Council for International Business pushed back against any suggestion that there should be limits on corporate interests at the climate talks, saying this would “damage and slow implementation [and] marginalise one of the most central constituencies in the UNFCCC process”.