Activists want fossil fuel lobbyists kicked out COP28

Tuesday, December 5th, 2023 02:20 | By
Delegates follow proceedings during the COP28 conference in Dubai. PHOTO/Print
Delegates follow proceedings during the COP28 conference in Dubai. PHOTO/Print

As the World biggest Climate talks continue in Dubai, there have been major concerns on the high number of delegates representing the fossil fuel industry taking part in the discussions and negotiations.

Observers from Global campaign to demand climate justice said the presence of the biggest oil polluters is like the presence of “arms dealers in peace talks” and therefore demanded that they be kicked out of the summit.

Eric Njuguna, from Friday for Future, a Kenyan based youth climate activist and a member of the global campaigners noted for long, these oil and gas companies have bragged about their power to influence the adoption of carbon markets as a measure to mitigate climate change.

He however says, carbon markets have remained a fallacy which has not been scientifically proven to absorb emissions.

Fossil fuel

“Carbon markets are false solutions which only exist to serve the fossil fuels industry’s interest by allowing them to claim carbon neutrality without them cutting down fossil fuel production. The only solution lies with stopping all new oil and gas exploration and freezing further production for the ongoing works,” he noted.

Njuguna revealed that the fossil fuel industry is aware that their time to operate freely without accountability highly depends on the discussions at the CoP28 and that is why they have sent a high number of delegates to attempt and renegotiate on their terms of existence.

“The UNFCCC needs to reinforce the conflict of interest policy to help distinguish which party a person is representing. We need to know the agenda of the oil and gas companies in COP discussions yet they are the biggest polluters. And these companies to these critical talks and negotiations will derail our targets to end use of fossil fuels and that is why they need to be kicked out of the discussions,” he says.

Rachel Rose Jackson from Global campaign to demand climate justice said the high number of fossil fuel lobbyists at the summit is alarming and worrying considering their major role in emission of greenhouse gases and their reluctance in abandoning its exploration and production.

Rose noted the activities of these biggest polluters have continued to violate the rights of many communities especially when they target land for gas or oil exploration.

Drue Slatter from Pacific climate warrior said meeting negotiators have allowed the perpetrators of the crisis to re-write the rules by allowing them in the negotiating table.

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