Record number of fossil fuel lobbyists attend COP28 climate talks

A report published Tuesday by the Kick Big Polluters Out coalition found that at least 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists registered to attend the two-week long summit. That’s more than almost every other country delegation, except for Brazil (3,081) and COP28 host the United Arab Emirates (4,409), the report said.

Supporters say the number of fossil fuel lobbyists attending the talks is ‘beyond justification’ and demonstrates that polluting industries are seeking to advance a fossil fuel agenda.

Others however say that Big Oil’s participation at COP28 should be welcomed.


There’s also a debate about whether an agreement should centre on abated fossil fuels, which are trapped and stocked with carbon capture and storage technologies. Unabated fossil fuels are largely understood to be produced and used without substantial reductions in the amount of emitted greenhouse gases.

Delegates at the beginning of COP28 sealed a landmark deal to help the world’s most vulnerable countries pay for the impacts of climate disasters. To me, that suggests it is okay to carry on with business as usual because the industry can throw money at the poorer people suffering at the brunt end of climate effects.

Announcements at COP28 have sought to help decarbonize the energy sector, with nearly 120 governments pledging to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030, recent news reports show.

Whichever way we care to spin this, we are nowhere near ready to switch to renewables.

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