BERLIN, June 15 (AP) The United Nations will require delegates to its annual climate summit to disclose their affiliations in an effort to rein in undue influence from fossil fuel companies and others, officials said Thursday.
Climate activists have long complained that the so-called Conference of the Parties (COP) has been sabotaged by oil and gas company lobbyists masquerading as state representatives.
Participants will also be asked to provide optional information about their affiliation with the government agency or organization that nominated them, and those who refuse to do so will be flagged accordingly.
Civil society groups welcomed the decision, which will apply to them too, but said participants would also have to disclose who funded their attendance.
“Tackling the undue influence of the fossil fuel industry and other big polluters must start with this step forward, not end it,” said Tasneem Essop, executive director of the International Climate Action Network, an environmental umbrella group.
The measure will be officially announced in the next few days, but has been confirmed to The Associated Press by the UN climate office.
Negotiators from nearly 200 countries wrapped up two weeks of talks in Bonn, Germany, in preparation for this year’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai.
The summit host, the United Arab Emirates, has come under scrutiny from activists and Western lawmakers for announcing that Industry Minister Sultan al-Jabir, who is also an oil company executive, will chair the summit.
While it is up to member states to decide who chairs the talks, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has in the past pointed the finger at what he calls “climate-damaging corporations” such as fossil fuel producers, and held them accountable.
The Bonn talks were characterized by disagreements between developed and developing countries over whether to include debate on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and providing further financial aid to poor countries on the formal agenda.
After both issues were put on hold, diplomats only approved the agenda on Wednesday, a day before the scheduled end.
“The cost of climate catastrophe is pushing developing countries deeper into debt, yet promised funding to combat climate impacts and scale up green technology has yet to materialize,” said Teresa Anderson of the campaign group ActionAid International .
“It’s not surprising that developing countries are reluctant to negotiate further commitments if they suspect they won’t be able to secure the funds to meet them,” she said. (AP)
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