The Impact of Fossil Fuel Lobbyists at COP28 and Beyond

According to the organization Global Witness, the number of fossil fuel lobbyists at a COP meeting is higher than ever before.

This leads to a few conclusions:
Conclusion #1: According to Global Witness, the number of lobbyists at COP28 is 2,456, which represents 2.9% of all delegates at the meeting. This means that the vast majority of delegates at COP28 are there to accelerate the transition, not slow it down. Let's hold onto that thought and the hope it represents if viewed from a positive angle. The 2.9% will not ultimately prevail over the majority who want humanity to have a future.
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Conclusion #2: The number of fossil lobbyists has increased significantly since previous COP meetings. This could be interpreted as the fossil industry beginning to feel threatened. Hopefully, this is a last gasp before they give up?
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Conclusion #3: Many climate activists would prefer not to have anyone from the fossil fuel industry represented at COP meetings at all. Personally, I wonder if this is really a wise strategy. To achieve a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, we need to negotiate with the opposition. Ultimately, we need to get the fossil fuel industry and countries dependent on fossil fuel revenues on board. We should not negotiate on their terms, but we will need them in the room to have someone to negotiate with.
Nevertheless, the increasing presence of fossil fuel lobbyists over time is concerning. If this trend continues, there's a risk they might dominate the meetings and control the narrative, which is something we must avoid.
That’s how I see it, at least.
What's your view on this? This topic needs public debate. Share your opinion in the comment section.
Is it right for fossil lobbyists to even participate in COP meetings, and will the figure for the next COP rise to 6%? How should this be handled in the best way?
Read more about the Global Witness report here:

  • Gea Vox

    18 w

    We need to catalyse a resurgence of the Move Your Money movement, switching to Ethical banks that do not finance Fossil Fuels and so de facto defund Fossil Fuels, sending a clear, loud message to the banking and finance world: fossil fuels lose you money! Conversely, we could try and invest in the alternatives, but for that to happen, we need some kind of stewardship to oversee investment funds, report on their actual performance and probity, along with their environmental stewardship credengtials. How can we achieve this globally, and not just in the more enlightened Countries that have branches of banks like Triodos? And how do we helpp finance sustainable alternatives, like farming co-operatives, rewilding schemes, renewables etc.?

    • Christine Zimmermann-Lössl

      18 w

      Thanks for your Very helpful analysis and facts! I agree we need to include and discuss with the fossil fuel lobby but we need to be careful and aware that they will do everything to hinder and stop phasing out. Dialogue will help to be informed what they are up to and as long as they see a business opportunity they might be even supportive!

      • George Kariuki

        18 w

        All hope is not lost, hope the discussions at COP28 will ensure that the world is not caught up in the snares of fossil fuel lobbyists.

        • Thera Gean Lewis

          18 w

          Without representation from all sides, there can be no progress. Yes , even lobbyists have the right to evolve in their policies, procedures, and thinking. Let's help them evolve.

          • Ingmar Rentzhog

            18 w

            My personal reflection on this is that I believe fossil fuel lobbyists have far too much influence on climate issues. However, their influence is probably exerted much more in the corridors of power between the meetings, not during the climate meetings themselves where they are actually a minority. We, who are active in the climate movement, need to ensure that they are not alone in the corridors of power between COP meetings.

            • Thomas Tienso

              18 w

              @Rentzhog Have you met one and what are they saying? Important to question them and not back down. Require science based facts from them. If they state that “it is not absolutely certain/proven” that fossil fuels has the impact it has, how can they mean that humanity should care about this microscopic probability given the consequences that comes with what all the other science points to? What right do they have to let their poor-based science be heard given what is at stake? This I cannot understand and I will not accept this type of argumentation.

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