Fossil fuels will be heavily represented at this year’s U.N. climate talks. - Grist


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Fossil fuels will be heavily represented at this year’s U.N. climate talks.

Next Monday, diplomats from around the world will convene in Marrakech to hammer out details over the next couple weeks for how countries will act on climate pledges made last year in Paris.

The menacing U.S. election won’t be the only outside influence shaping the talks. Environmental NGOs and clean industry reps of all stripes usually head to these conferences in droves.

But as the advocacy organization Corporate Accountability International shows, coal and gas representatives are also heavily involved. The long list of non-governmental organizations accepted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the body that runs the annual talks, includes groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Shell Foundation, linked to carbon-spewing companies such as Chevron and Shell.

Corporate Accountability International

The fossil fuel industry usually has its fingerprints all over these conferences. As Mother Jones’s Tim McDonnell reported last year, gas- and coal-reliant electric utilities sponsored the Paris talks. Shell and Chevron hosted events the year before at the talks in Peru.

In May, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua called for an examination of “observers” at the talks, like NGOs and private companies, that represent a conflict of interest. Let the debate begin.