Updated to reflect new data from Kick Big Polluters Out Coalition – As of Dec 5, 2023

Statement from Julia Levin, Associate Director, National Climate

Dubai, UAE – Fossil fuel lobbyists are swarming COP28 this year, including Canada’s official delegation. New data from the Kick Big Polluters Out coalition reveals that at least 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists have been granted access to the climate summit, nearly four times more than were granted access last year. 

According to Environmental Defence’s own analysis of the UN’s Provisional List of Registered Participants at COP28, 35 people with ties to the fossil fuel sector were given Party badges by Canada. Last year there were eight people with ties to the fossil fuel industry included in Canada’s list of badge holders. 

Following Environmental Defence’s initial reporting of these numbers on December 2nd, the Government of Canada had clarified that the fossil fuel lobbyists were included in Alberta’s list of delegates, which the federal government has no control over. 

“The Government of Alberta has come to COP28 to champion the private interests of fossil fuel executives, not Albertans. Most Albertans want their government to take climate action seriously. Instead Premier Smith is attending climate negotiations in bad faith, to spread misinformation, promote dangerous distractions and defend private foreign interests which are unaligned with the goals of the climate negotiations. 

The fossil fuel industry knows that their time is up. As the head of the International Energy Agency has put it, we are approaching the end of the fossil fuel era. 

For the first time, the key issue at these climate talks is agreeing upon an approach to phase out the production of fossil fuels. So it is not surprising that fossil fuel executives are swarming COP28, in an effort to sabotage progress and peddle their dangerous distractions, like carbon capture and hydrogen.”

Canadian delegation badges were issued to:

  • 18 employees of oil and gas companies. This includes representatives from Cenovus Energy, Enbridge, Imperial Oil, Suncor and five members of the Pathways Alliance, a coalition of the largest tar sands companies in Canada. 
  • Six people from groups affiliated with the oil and gas industry, such as Energy for a Secure Future, which runs massive advertising campaigns in Ottawa promoting fossil exports.  
  • 11 people from companies selling false solutions, such as carbon capture and fossil hydrogen. This includes two employees of Air Products, a company which received a massive $300 million subsidy from the federal government for their blue hydrogen project.
  • Other oil and gas lobbyists are attending COP as observers, such as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, as well as 28 members of the Clean Resource Innovation Network, which serves to promote oil and gas greenwashing and even have their own Pavillion at the conference.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, media@environmentaldefence.ca