Unmasking Fossil Fuel Agenda: Carbon Capture Lobbyists Exposed at COP28

As COP28 climate talks unfold in Dubai, a startling revelation has emerged, exposing the influence of the fossil fuel industry on global climate negotiations.

In the wake of the Kick Big Polluters Out Coalition report of an alarming 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists present at COP28, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) conducted a comprehensive analysis revealing the presence of 475 lobbyists specializing in Carbon Capture (Utilization) and Storage (CC(U)S) projects, overshadowing the official delegations and raising concerns about the true intentions behind this technology; and painting a grim picture of the industry’s relentless push to maintain its grip on the energy narrative.

Lili Fuhr, Director of the Fossil Economy Program at CIEL, expressed grave concerns about the fossil fuel industry’s aggressive campaign to portray carbon pollution management through CC(U)S as a panacea for climate change. “CCS, the industry’s lifeline and latest delay tactic, is a smokescreen we must not fall for,” Fuhr cautioned. “It’s time to confront the core driver of the climate crisis, not entertain ineffective band-aids.”

The analysis points to a significant presence of representatives from companies involved in CCUS projects, as per the International Energy Agency (IEA) database. Additionally, it highlights other companies and organizations with a public track record of advocating for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

This formidable group of 475 lobbyists, if considered a single delegation, surpasses and triples the size of the United States’ official delegation of 159 diplomats. Notably, it substantially outnumbers the official 316 indigenous representatives, underscoring the outsized influence of fossil fuel interests at the climate talks.

CC(U)S has emerged as a central theme at COP28, but skepticism looms large. Critics argue that rather than being a genuine effort to combat climate change, CC(U)S is a strategic move by the fossil fuel industry to deflect attention from the root cause—the continued production and burning of fossil fuels.

As the climate talks unfold, the spotlight is now firmly on the urgency to address the fossil fuel industry’s tactics, with calls for a reevaluation of the role of CC(U)S in the global climate agenda. The world watches closely as negotiators grapple with the challenge of balancing technological solutions with the imperative to phase out fossil fuels and confront the real drivers of the climate crisis.

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