‘Explosion’ in number of fossil fuel lobbyists at Cop27 climate summit

Oil and gas industries have 636 representatives at Egypt conference – a rise of more than 25% on previous year

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.

At Cop27, “the influence of fossil fuel lobbyists is greater than frontline countries and communities. Delegations from African countries and Indigenous communities are dwarfed by representatives of corporate interests”, said the group Kick Big Polluters out, which campaigns against the influence of fossil fuel lobbyists at the climate negotiations.

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.

Why gas is being sold as green, when it’s not | explainer

“The explosion in the number of industry delegates attending the negotiations reinforces the conviction of the climate justice community that the industry views the Cop as a carnival of sorts, and not a space to address the ongoing and imminent climate crisis,” said Kwami Kpondzo from Friends of the Earth Togo.

In a recent submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – the body that oversees Cop – to discuss the role of private business at the talks, a coalition of civil society groups said climate action would “continue to fail to meaningfully address the climate crisis as long as polluting interests are granted unmitigated access to policymaking processes and are allowed to unduly influence and weaken the critical work of the UNFCCC”.

In response, 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”.


Ruth Michaelson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Tuvalu first to call for fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty at Cop27
Pacific islands nation, which is acutely vulnerable to sea level rises, joins nearby Vanuatu in seeking phase-out of coal, oil and gas

Oliver Milman

08, Nov, 2022 @11:30 AM

Article image
‘We can do the impossible’: how key players reacted to end of Cop27 climate summit
World leaders, diplomats and activists respond to signing of ‘historic’ deal as climate talks wrap up

Guardian staff

20, Nov, 2022 @3:15 PM

Article image
‘Significant’ moves on climate disaster funds lift Cop27 hopes
Small but symbolic moves at summit where finance is critical include new loss and damage money and debt relief

Damian Carrington Environment editor

09, Nov, 2022 @11:18 AM

Article image
The 1.5C climate goal died at Cop27 – but hope must not
Every fraction of a degree increases human suffering, so the fight to end the fossil fuel industry must ramp up

Damian Carrington Environment editor

20, Nov, 2022 @12:31 PM

Article image
Egyptian NGOs complain of being shut out of Cop27 climate summit
Civil society groups say covert screening process excluded government’s critics

Ruth Michaelson

24, Aug, 2022 @10:46 AM

Article image
Climate ‘loss and damage’: why it’s such a big deal at Cop27
Global heating crisis is felt most by countries that are least to blame, so funding is central to demands for climate justice

Nina Lakhani Climate justice reporter

05, Nov, 2022 @7:00 AM

Article image
Rishi Sunak will not attend Cop27 climate summit
Downing Street announcement follows UK prime minister’s promise to prioritise environment

Helena Horton and Jessica Elgot

27, Oct, 2022 @4:11 PM

Article image
Cop27 climate summit: window for avoiding catastrophe is closing fast
The effects of global heating could soon reach a tipping point, but scientists fear that the meeting in Egypt will become bogged down in recriminations

Robin McKie Science Editor

30, Oct, 2022 @7:00 AM

Article image
Imprisoned activist’s lawyer denied access at Egyptian jail during climate summit – as it happened
British-Egyptian Alaa Abd el-Fattah, who has been on hunger strike for months, stopped drinking water when Cop27 began

Bibi van der Zee, Natalie Hanman and Helena Horton

10, Nov, 2022 @6:09 PM

Article image
Loss and damage must be at heart of Cop27 talks, experts say
Campaigners say talks could fail before they begin unless issue of loss and damage is put on agenda

Fiona Harvey and Nikhita Chulani in Sharm el-Sheikh

05, Nov, 2022 @2:48 PM