The world’s five largest oil and gas companies, BP, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Total, as well as groups representing the interests of the oil and gas industry, have spent at least 250 million euros from 2010 to 2018 for lobby the European Union institutions, a report released Thursday by a coalition of NGOs, AFP reports.
According to this report, the big players in the oil and gas industry as well as the organizations representing the fossil fuel sector had at least 327 meetings with the European Commission officials, after Jean-Claude Juncker took over the presidency of the Community Executive in 2014, meaning more than one a week. The NGOs Corporate Europe Observatory, Food and Water Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe and Greenpeace reached these figures on the basis of analyzing the statements of companies and the data included in the transparency register, which includes the interventions of interest groups and lobbying in addition to European institutions, according to Agerpres.
The authors of the report, however, point out that this figure is only the tip of the iceberg because some companies did not declare the expenses in the voluntary register. Also, the report does not examine the lobbying expenses made by each company at the level of national parliaments and institutions.
“This is part of a chronic attitude of the fossil fuel industry, which does everything to delay, weaken or undermine climate action,” said Pascoe Sabido, a researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory.
The report claims that lobbying has been successful in weakening EU climate legislation. Lobby actions reach maximum intensity when drafting legislation. Oil and gas companies, as well as groups representing the interests of the oil and gas industry, incurred high spending in 2014, during talks on EU targets for 2030, when they spent 34.3 million euros to lobby the EU institutions.
The Community Bloc is considered a global leader when it comes to the fight against climate change, but some environmentalists are concerned that Member States are not doing enough to eliminate fossil fuels quickly enough to reach the Paris agreement, which consists in limiting global warming to below two degrees Celsius.