Climate denial enters COP28 from the front door

Lobbyists also had access to closed-door meetings at COP28 in Dubai

– The pincer maneuver that canceled the fossil phase-out at the COP28 in Dubai was on the list of climate conference accredited. The Emirati presidency – led by Sultan al-Jaber, head of the national oil company ADNOC – has provided the pass to at least 160 people with denial positions on the climate crisis. Very influential trade organizations, but also think tanks and public relations agencies. They are part of the national delegations. So climate denial has been allowed to enter the closed-door meetings held in Dubai.

This is Corporate Accountability, a global campaign that, among its activities, monitors the presence of personalities related to the fossil industry at the top of the climate. “The fossil fuel industry is doing everything it can to secure its future in a world and an ever-changing climate,” comments Tom BK Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Fossil fuel companies and large oil states are bringing their lobbyists and endless public relations support to control, distort and green their narrative to ensure that the global economy remains an extractive economy”.

Of the 160 passes given by al-Jaber to representatives of climate denial, most are linked to Edelman, a leading PR agency that works hand in hand with trade associations and carries out their agendas. Edelman was granted 60 seats at COP28, occupied by people who have worked in the past, rebuild Corporate Accountability, in the creation of non-existent public support in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States, blocking climate laws, and changing the narrative used by the oil and gas industry to present fossils as part of the solution.

Other bodies involved are WPP, another PR agency that works a lot with Big Oil, the Competitive Enterprise Institute led by Myron Ebell, that Trump wanted to lead the transition team before entering the White House in 2016 and engineered the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, the Edison Electric Institute (also linked to the Trump administration) and FTI Consulting. “When fossil fuel companies and their partners unleash their machine of lies and deception at the COP, they not only take people‚Äôs voices, but they also influence global climate policy to ensure that their polluting and extractive program can continue unhindered,” said Beato Chidhoni of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. “If we want to combat the climate crisis, we need the legitimate involvement of grassroots and front-line communities and the expulsion of major polluters”.

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