‘More fossil fuel delegates at COP26 than any country’

A new study claims that people linked with the oil and gas industry outnumber everyone else at the conference

Big Zero Report 2023

The fossil fuel industry has the most delegates at COP26.

That’s according to a study by Global Witness, which found the fossil fuel industry had a larger delegation at the climate summit than any single country.

More than 500 people accredited for the climate summit were people linked to oil and gas industries.

It also found that more than 100 fossil fuel companies are represented at the conference, with the number of delegates related to the industry more than the total number of delegations from the countries worst impacted by climate change – including Puerto Rico, Myanmar, Haiti, Philippines, Mozambique, Bahamas, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Many climate campaigners have called for them to be banned, with other disgruntled members of the public claiming their attendance adds to the inequality of participation, with vaccine requirements and travel restrictions having an impact on other countries.

Global Witness’ Murray Worthy said: “The case for meaningful global action must not be diverted by a festival of polluters and their mouthpieces, who have no interest in seeing the changes we need to protect people and the planet.

“The presence of hundreds of those being paid to push the toxic interests of polluting fossil fuel companies, will only increase the scepticism of climate activists who see these talks as more evidence of global leaders’ dithering and delaying.

“The scale of the challenge ahead means there is no time for us to be diverted by greenwashing or meaningless corporate promises not matched by delivery.

“It’s time for politicians to show they are serious about ending the influence of big polluters over political decision-making and commit to a future where expert and activist voices are given centre stage.”

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