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Institut für Politikwissenschaft

Cop28: anger after record number of fossil fuel lobbyists given access to summit – Axel Michaelowa

There’s been more reaction to the news that a record number of fossil fuel lobbyists have been given access to Cop28.
Climate Action Network, the world’s largest coalition of climate NGOs, highlights that there are:

  • More fossil fuel lobbyists than delegates from the 10 most climate-vulnerable countries combined
  • More than seven times the number of fossil fuel lobbyists than official Indigenous representative

Patrick Greenfield wrote:

Three more governments have signed carbon credit deals with the UAE-based firm Blue Carbon on the sidelines of Cop28, as an expert warns formal negotiations could open up the Paris agreement to “carbon cowboys”, writes my colleague Patrick Greenfield.

Comoros, Dominica and the Bahamas have become the latest countries to reach agreements with Blue Carbon, a company backed by a young Dubai royal which has overseen a series of carbon offsetting deals that cover an enormous area of African forest.

Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook al-Maktoum, the Dubai royal behind the firm, has so far overseen deals that cover a fifth of Zimbabwe, 10% of Liberia, 10% of Zambia, 8% of Tanzania and “millions” of hectares of Kenya, collectively amounting to an area larger than the size of the UK.

Under the agreements, Blue Carbon will develop climate change mitigation projects using the countries’ forest, coastlines and natural resources, selling the resulting carbon reductions and removals as credits.

Ahead of Cop28, concerns were raised about the Blue Carbon agreements, as well as about the sheikh’s previous business ventures.

At the summit, governments are negotiating how countries could use these credits towards their own national targets.

Draft text on article 6.2 of the Paris agreement, which covers country to country agreements on carbon trading, proposes that governments should be allowed to unilaterally approve credits for sale. .

“The proposed inclusion of unilateral Article 6.2 deals could open the way for unfettered “carbon cowboyism”,” said Axel Michaelowa, a carbon markets expert at the University of Zurich.

Blue Carbon has previously said its “vision with these projects is not only to accelerate global climate action but also to tackle crucial environmental challenges at the local level thereby ushering in community benefits and advancing sustainable development in the countries involved”.