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Record number of Cop28 delegates linked to fossil fuel companies

ACTIVISTS at the United Nations climate summit toay slammed the record numbers of delegates linked to fossil fuel companies who are due to attend the conference.

Climate activists have long complained about the influence that the fossil fuel industry has been able to exert over the previous 27 Conference of the Parties.

They have also complained that the latest summit, Cop28, should not be led by Sultan al-Jaber, who is head of the host United Arab Emirates’ national oil company.

Earlier this week Mr Jaber was forced to deny an allegation that he was using the summit to make deals for his oil company.

The latest summit, taking place at the sprawling Dubai Expo City, has seen record numbers of delegates registered who have links to fossil fuel companies.

The Kick Big Polluters Out (KBPO) coalition, a group of environmental non-governmental groups and businesses, studied the list of attendees after it was published on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) website on November 30.

Their analysis of the provisional participants list shows more than 2,500 delegates linked to fossil fuels are scheduled to attend Cop28.

The research suggests significantly more fossil fuel-linked delegates are attending Cop28 than almost every individual country delegation, except for the 3,081 people brought by Brazil, which is expected to host Cop30, and this year’s host, the UAE, which listed 4,409 people.

The analysis found that a vast number of fossil-fuel linked delegates are attending Cop28 as part of a trade association, with nine out of the 10 biggest of these groups coming from the global North.

The Geneva-based International Emissions Trading Associations brought 116 people including representatives from Shell, TotalEnergies and Equinor.

France brought fossil fuel giants such as TotalEnergies and EDF, Italy brought a team of Eni representatives and the European Union brought employees of BP, Eni and ExxonMobil.

There have been growing calls from many quarters, especially from nations of the global South, public officials and wider civil society, to bar polluters from the international climate talks.

Alexia Leclercq, co-founder of environmental justice organisation Start: Empowerment, said: “Big polluters’ poisonous presence has bogged us down for years.”

Hwei Mian Lim, from the Women and Gender Constituency, said: “We are where we are because of years of denial, delay and false solutions from the very groups that are responsible for the problem.”

David Tong, Oil Change International’s global industry campaign manager, said: “Fossil fuel lobbyists must be kicked out of Cop.”
 

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