Fossil fuel lobbyists attending Cop28 in record numbers, analysis shows

‘What chance do we have if our voices are suffocated by the influence of big polluters?’

The number of fossil fuel lobbyists at Cop28 is nearly four times higher than at previous summits, the Kick Big Polluters Out Coalition has said.

There are 2,456 fossil fuel representatives attending the climate talks, its analysis of attending delegates has found.

There were a record 636 fossil fuel lobbyists at Cop27 last year, making the fossil fuel presence at this year’s summit “unprecedented”, it said.

“The sheer number of fossil fuel lobbyists at climate talks that could determine our future is beyond justification,” said Joseph Sikulu, the Pacific managing director of environmental group, in a statement. “We come here to fight for our survival, and what chance do we have if our voices are suffocated by the influence of big polluters?”


One of chief architects of the Paris Agreement Laurence Tubiana has alleged oil and gas producers at Cop28 are counting on carbon capture and storage (CCS) for a social licence to keep drilling as usual. “Don’t fall for it,” she warned.

“While it can be helpful at the margins, CCS cannot possibly deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions on the scale needed to avert climate disaster. This can only happen if the main sources of emissions – fossil fuels – are phased out,” she wrote in a comment piece published by Climate Home News published on Tuesday.

CCS is expected to deliver less than a tenth of the cumulative CO2 emission reductions in 2023-2050, needed to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The Government has confirmed at Cop28 that CCS will be deployed at incinerators and cement factories in Ireland to help meet emission reduction targets over coming decades.

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times