Governments have been under pressure to exclude fossil fuel companies from COP. For decades the influence of the big polluters haves weakened climate polity and agreements. The exclusion may not signal the end for big oil companies, but it’s a huge step in that direction.
Private emails from civil servants in the Cop unit, seen by the Guardian, show doubts about one oil major’s net zero plans, with an official saying BP “[does] not currently fit our success criteria for Cop26” and another noting “it’s unclear whether [its net zero] commitments stack up yet”.
Last year the Guardian revealed that fossil fuel firms had held a series of private meetings with UK officials in an attempt to be part of Cop26. Documents revealed that some of the world’s biggest polluters had been lobbying the government, offering money in return for exposure at the event and in one case saying they could act as an intermediary between UK officials and other governments.
But now, in what campaigners say is a big win for climate activism, the UK’s Cop unit has confirmed that no fossil fuel majors will have a formal role.