• How Are Fossil Fuel Companies Influencing COP26?

Biofuel Industry News

How Are Fossil Fuel Companies Influencing COP26?

Nov 11 2021

While the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference isn’t technically open to fossil fuel companies, it hasn’t stopped oil and gas giants from flexing their muscles at the event. Organisers of the global summit did not extend formal invitations to major fossil fuel companies, a move that won praise from climate change activists. Though despite representatives from energy giants such as Shell and BP not attending the event, the oil industry has managed to retain a strong presence at COP26.

COP26 organisers face “conflict of interest” accusations

Organisers were criticised for enlisting Boston Consulting Group to help with “strategy implementation” for the event. While the high-profile group is committed to combating climate change, it also advises almost 20 global oil companies. This connection naturally raised concerns over conflict of interest.

“This is…highly unusual to have private sector involvement of any kind at that level in what is essentially an international diplomatic conference,” said Daniel Bruce, chief executive at Transparency International UK. “It’s hard not to ask the question, or to see that there is a very face-value conflict of interest here.”

Politics and climate-change collide

Fossil fuel companies are also making their voices heard through politicians, including US President Joe Biden. While Biden was a high-profile guest at COP26 and made promises to slash methane emissions and address deforestation, he will face fierce opposition from politicians such as Senator Joe Manchin. Representing West Virginia and known for his significant oil and gas investments, Manchin recently dismantled Biden’s initiative to force US power companies to transition to eco-friendly electricity.

European politicians have also been in the spotlight for fossil fuel connections, with a recent report revealing dozens of officials in attendance at COP26 were previously employed by oil and gas lobby groups. The report was commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory and Food Water Action Europe, and revealed hundreds of meetings between EU Commission officials and executives or lobbyists representing oil and gas companies. Critics say this comes as no surprise, as for many governments national interests are directly linked to the fossil fuels industry.

Finding the balance between national interests and net-zero targets

For example, net-zero targets could have dire consequences for the Saudi Arabian oil and gas industry. Similarly, Canada’s national economy is heavily dependent on oil production. That said, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed determined to address climate change and slash emissions at COP26.

During his time in Glasgow, he also pledged to back the Global Forest Finance Pledge, which plans to spend US$12 billion to “support ambitious partnerships in developing countries that tackle the causes of deforestation.” As part of the pledge, nations will also build new economic opportunities for developing nations and “climate-vulnerable communities.”

While climate activists are pushing to phase out diesel, it remains a key contributor to the US economy, with industry expert Dr. Raj Shah asserting the fuel moves “more than 80 percent of all cargo in the U.S and more than 90 percent throughout the world.” Along with meeting environmental regulations, testing methods play an important role in adhering to commercial, quality, processing and safety regulations. Find out more in ‘Recent advances in test method development, and instrumentation used for testing diesel fuel.’


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