Lobby groups representing some of the world’s biggest polluters have sent thousands of delegates to negotiations aimed at limiting global warming since UN climate talks began.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) brings together nations, environmental groups, scientists and policymakers to work on measures to stave off the worst social, economic and ecological threats posed by runaway temperatures.
Trade associations that represent oil and gas majors are entitled under the convention’s own rules to attend annual UNFCCC talks and inter-sessional meetings as observers.
They frequently host networking side events or presentations and have the same status and access permits at negotiations as environmental charities.
But there is currently no protection against potential conflicts of interest between nations which need emissions slashed rapidly in order to survive, and the biggest emitters whose business plans are still heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
A database compiled and analyzed by the Climate Investigations Center (CIC) monitoring group lists every individual, observer and industry association to have attended UN climate talks since 1995.