Climate change: UN to unmask fossil fuel lobbyists at climate talks

Climate change: UN to unmask fossil fuel lobbyists at climate talks

Oil, gas and coal representatives will have to disclose their industry ties at future climate meetings, the UN says.

For years, fossil fuel employees have been able to attend without having to be clear about their relationship with their companies.

Last year, over 600 industry participants were able to enter the COP27 meeting in Egypt.

Campaigners say the UN ruling is the first step to limiting the influence of polluters.

The new rules will be in place for the COP28 summit in November in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s top oil producers. UAE oil company chief Sultan Al Jaber will preside over the summit, an appointment that has irked environmentalists.

Every year, political leaders from around the world attend the Conference of the Parties or COP meeting, where key decisions are made on how the world tackles climate change.

As well as politicians and diplomats, the events are attended by environmental campaigners who see ending the global reliance on fossil fuels as the key goal for the COP process.

Increasingly, representatives from the fossil fuel industries have been attending as well. The problem though is that often employees of coal, oil and gas companies are not open about their affiliations.

At COP26 in Glasgow, there were more delegates from the fossil fuel industries than from any single country.

Last year at COP27 in Egypt, the numbers had swollen by a quarter, with more than 600 representatives according to analysis from campaign group, Global Witness.

With registration for delegates to this year’s COP28 summit in Dubai set to open soon, the UN will now put in place a mandatory question on affiliation.

“From now onwards, every single badged participant attending the event will be required to list their affiliation and relationship to that organisation,” said UN climate chief Simon Stiell, speaking at the closing of a preparatory meeting in Bonn.

Campaigners say the step is long overdue.

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