Climate Arson: Fossil Fuel Big Five Spent 250m Euros on EU Lobbying Over 10 Years

Written by | Thursday, October 31st, 2019

The five biggest publicly listed oil and gas companies – BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total – and trade groups representing them spent more than 250 million euros lobbying the European Union to influence climate action since 2010, environmental groups said on Thursday (24 October). A study on this controversial topic showed that they have held at least 327 high level meetings – an average of more than one a week – with officials from European Commission since its President Jean-Claude Juncker took office in 2014. The findings are based on data from publicly listed documents while corporations that responded to requests for comments claimed there was no conflict of interest when their executives met senior EU policymakers.
While the EU is widely seen as one of the global leaders when it comes to climate action, the money spent on access to officials demonstrate that “this is part of a long trail of the fossil fuel industry delaying, weakening and torpedoing much-needed climate action,” says Pascoe Sabido, a researcher and campaigner with Corporate Europe Observatory. Over the last two years, oil and gas companies have spent 45.3bn euros on fossil fuels-related investment projects that undermine the Paris Agreement, with a new report from think tank Carbon Tracker warning that major oil and gas companies risk wasting 1.9trn euros on stranded assets by 2030.
The joint investigation carried out by Corporate Europe Observatory, Food & Water Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, and Greenpeace EU focused on companies’ own declarations and the EU’s lobby transparency register and published meetings. Responding to the request for comments, a spokeswomen from Total told AFP that the figures contained in the report “in no way reflect” what the company spends on lobbying. “Total is convinced that a collective approach is necessary to respond to the magnitude of the climate issue,” she said. An ExxonMobil spokesman said the giant “believes that climate change risks warrant action and it’s going to take all of us – business, governments and consumers — to make meaningful progress.”

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