There is nothing “game-changing” about allowing more oil and gas influence at climate talks.

by Emily Atkin, Heated

We’re just two weeks out from COP28, the annual high-stakes U.N. summit where world leaders hash out their plans to stave off global ecological and economic catastrophe from climate change.

This year, the summit will be held in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates and led by UAE oil baron Sultan Al Jaber, who has what he calls a “game-changing plan” to achieve unprecedented progress: Allow oil and gas companies to have more influence over the negotiations.1

If you understand one thing about this plan, let it be this: There is nothing “game-changing” about giving fossil fuel companies more influence at global climate talks. The strategy is merely a repackaging of a decades-long status quo that has resulted in ever-increasing global emissions.

Sultan Al Jaber speaks at a podium

Since the annual COPs began in the 1990s, polluting interests have been deeply involved in negotiations, sending hundreds of lobbyists each year. At last year’s summit, close to 400 people connected to fossil fuel industries were in attendance”a grouping that was larger than all but two of the national delegations sent by countries,” according to an Associated Press analysis released this week.

While it’s difficult to quantify the fossil fuel industry’s influence at these summits because so much of the negotiations happen behind closed doors, two things can be said definitively:

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