More than a few African entities are represented on a list of 636 fossil fuel lobbyists attending the COP27 climate conference in Egypt, a number that the anti-corruption Global Witness organization, publishers of the list, say is more than 25% higher than a year ago in Scotland.
The names were culled during an analysis of those registered either with fossil fuel corporations, or attending as delegation members on behalf of the fossil fuel industry. The Corporate Accountability and Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) organizations assisted with the project.
While individual names have been removed, the Global Witness list includes parties from Angola, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and more. Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Kenya Pipeline Company Ltd., and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation are all on the list. So is the scandal-plagued Eskom utility in South Africa.
The presence of fossil fuel industry representatives and advocates isn’t indicative of wrongdoing. Further, it likely may make sense that the Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which counts Algeria, Libya, Nigeria and other African countries among its members, might attend COP27 to discuss a global energy transition.
But it does raise questions about the commitment to end fossil fuel use. The industry presence also puts a spotlight on Africa, where oil and gas continue to be an economic cornerstone—one developing nations like Uganda unapologetically defend— even as Africans disproportionately pay the price for climate change and climate advocates demand an end to fossil fuel interests.
“There’s been a lot of lip service paid to this being the so-called African COP, but how are you going to address the dire climate impacts on the continent, when the (global) fossil fuel delegation is larger than that of any African country?” asked Phillip Jakpor, of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa.
Image: East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) file
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