Reacting to analysis released today showing that thousands of fossil fuel lobbyists as well as the heads of several multinational oil companies have been given access to the COP28 United Nations climate summit in the United Arab Emirates, Amnesty International’s Programme Director of Climate, Economic and Social Justice and Corporate Accountability Marta Schaaf said:
“For COP to allow in thousands of representatives of the fossil fuel industry, which is making vast profits for a wealthy few while trashing the climate for everyone, perverts the very rationale of a meeting whose purpose is to protect the climate and people from further harm.
“Arms dealers are not asked to peace talks, so it is warped to ask climate wreckers for their view on how to fix the damage they have caused when most of them are planning to expand production of fossil fuels, further warming our overheating world, and threatening the rights of billions of people
Arms dealers are not asked to peace talks, so it is warped to ask climate wreckers for their view on how to fix the damage they have caused.Marta Schaaf, Amnesty International’s Programme Director of Climate, Economic and Social Justice and Corporate Accountability
“It is sadly unsurprising that a summit chaired by Sultan Al Jaber, the head of one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, and who appears to question the science behind the necessity of phasing out fossil fuels, has provided a cosy environment for the industry’s lobbyists.
“It is egregious that Darren Woods, the chief executive of ExxonMobil, is at COP and presenting unproven technical solutions like carbon capture and storage as an answer to the climate crisis. Exxon knew for decades that burning fossil fuels was damaging the climate but carried on regardless selling ever more oil and gas.
“The credibility of COP has been damaged. The rights to freedom of expression and assembly are severely restricted at this meeting but the fossil fuel lobby has been offered every opportunity to make its case. The result will be further climate chaos and human rights harms. The fossil fuel lobbyists must be resisted, now and at future meetings.”
The number of lobbyists working on behalf of the fossil fuel industry with access to COP28 has risen to a record of at least 2,456, from 636 at last year’s summit, according to a study conducted for the Kick Big Polluters Out coalition which includes Global Witness, Corporate Accountability and Corporate Europe Observatory as well as other civil society groups.
Amnesty International has called on Sultan Al Jaber to resign from his role as chief executive of Adnoc, the UAE state oil and gas company, in order to chair COP28. Amnesty International believes a fast, fair, funded and forever phase out of all fossil fuels is essential to protect human rights, and must be a priority at COP28.