Fossil Fuel Industry Sends Largest Delegation to COP26

Who sent the largest delegation to COP26? The fossil fuel industry. At least 503 lobbyists have been taking part in the UN’s climate conference in Glasgow — that’s 2 dozen more than the largest country delegation.

They represent some of the largest oil and gas corporations in the world, including Shell, BP, and Gazprom. A data analysis was conducted of the UN’s provisional list of named attendees, including people directly affiliated with fossil fuel companies and those attending as members of delegations that act on behalf of the fossil fuel industry. This has led to more than 100 fossil fuel companies and 30 trade associations and membership organizations being represented. Comparatively, there are double the amount of lobbyists as the UNFCCC’s official Indigenous constituency, and more than the combined total of delegates from the 8 countries that have been hit hardest by the climate crisis in the past 2 decades (Puerto Rico, Myanmar, Haiti, Philippines, Mozambique, Bahamas, Bangladesh, and Pakistan), according to Global Witness, one of the companies that performed the data analysis. Global Witness also notes that lobbyists from other polluting industries (such as finance, agribusiness, and transportation) are also in attendance, though not part of this count.

This report comes as activists criticize COP26 for not being inclusive of those most affected by climate change, as there are many barriers to getting to the summit. There have been calls in recent years to address and institute policies for conflicts of interest, and how many lobbyists from these corporations should be allowed into the conference.