COP28 irony: 2,456 reps of fossil fuel lobbyists among attendees

Analysis showed that 636 fossil fuel lobbyists were granted access to COP27

Cop28 Climate Summit People walk past a COP28 sign at the Expo City during the United Nations climate summit in Dubai | AFP

In attendance at COP28 climate summit are at least 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists. This is a number more than representatives from all other, but two participating countries. The two countries which have more representatives than this number are Brazil- which is expected to host COP30; and UAE- the host for COP28.

The 10 most climate vulnerable countries: Somalia, Chad, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Micronesia, Tonga, Eritrea, Sudan Liberia and the Solomon Islands have representatives ranging from seven to 554.

Among the top fossil polluters are International Emissions Trading Association with 116 attendees; Clean Resource Innovation Network with 60 participants and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry with 54 attendees.

A report released by ‘Kick Big Polluters Out’ (KBPO), a group which has 450 endorsers from around the world, notes the conflict of interest that is bound to arise from such an association.

Last year, KBPO's analysis showed that at least 636 fossil fuel lobbyists were granted access to the COP27 climate talks in Egypt, up from 503 the year before in Glasgow.

For the purposes of the report, any company that has significant business activities in the exploration, extraction, refining, trading, specialised transportation of fossil fuels or sale of electricity derived from them is classified as a fossil fuel company.

Indian endorsers in the group include Let India Breathe, Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Manushya Foundation, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha and the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India.

The actual strength of the fossil fuel lobby could be much higher given that the report considers only those who openly disclose their connections to fossil fuel interests, and not those who access the talks using a different professional affiliation. The report relies on data from public sources like company websites, news coverage and the like.

There has also been strong speculation that Sultan Al Jaber, the president of the UN COP28 climate summit had been trying to sign oil deals just before the start of the summit. Jaber, the head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, has strongly denied these claims.

According to expert projections, in 2023 a record-high will be reached for carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. Some 36.8 billion tonnes of CO2; 1.4% above the 2019 pre-COVID-19 levels will rise because of burning of coal, oil, and gas.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp