As negotiators at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai debate calls for a global phaseout of fossil fuels, a record number of fossil fuel lobbyists have filled the gathering’s hallways and conference rooms: More than 2,400 conference delegates have ties to the fossil fuel industry, according to a new report from Kick Big Polluters Out, a global coalition of more than 450 nonprofits and advocacy organizations that oppose the fossil fuel industry’s influence on climate policy. The data is only available thanks to new transparency requirements adopted by the United Nations at the behest of climate advocates, who have argued that the fossil fuel industry takes advantage of lax reporting standards to push its agenda at the annual COPs.
The sheer number of lobbyists at the conference — about 1 lobbyist for every 40 attendees overall — has disturbed many activists and world leaders pushing for a fossil fuel phaseout. But just as concerning is how little information is available about why these lobbyists come to Dubai. They gain access to the conference under the auspices of national governments that invite them, tr... Read more