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Fossil fuel groups ‘destroying’ climate talks, say NGOs

Where’s the logic? Nearly all these folk arrived in Madrid thanks to fossil fuels. They accepted sponsorship – without which there wouldn’t be a conference – from companies that deal in fossil fuels. But now they want to whine about who and what they’re depending on.

Oil and gas groups were accused Saturday of seeking to influence climate talks in Madrid by paying millions in sponsorship and sending dozens of lobbyists to delay what scientists say is a necessary and rapid cut in fossil fuel use.

A day after tens of thousands marched in the Spanish capital demanding climate action, seven environmental groups raised concerns to AFP over the role of fossil fuel representatives at the COP25 summit, reports

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations agreed to limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and as close to 1.5C as possible.

The UN’s top science panel says that 1.5C would require a radical drawdown in fossil fuel usage.

Delegates are gathered in Madrid negotiating how to implement the Paris pledges. The summit was moved at short notice after domestic unrest forced original host Chile to cancel.

Spanish energy giants Endesa and Iberdrola stepped in to sponsor the conference, which brings together more than 20,000 negotiators, scientists, NGOs and journalists from around the world.

AFP has been told that each company paid 2 million euros to be COP25 “Platinum” sponsors, affording them prominent branding and trade stalls at the event.

Endesa is one of Spain’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, producing just over 60 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent last year alone.

Iberdrola produced 24.6 million tonnes in 2018.

Neither group nor organisers confirmed the exact cost but their sponsorship of a conference designed to reach consensus on how to cut emissions drew allegations of “greenwashing” from observers.

“Bankrolling the global climate negotiations is a classic trick from the polluter’s playbook,” said Jean Su, energy director with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Full report here.