Press Release: “Fossil fuel companies getting away with murder as COP28 sees lobbyist explosion” 

5 December 2023


Study reveals that nearly 2,500 fossil fuel delegates are in COP28 and another report shows one year’s emissions from Europe’s nine major oil and gas companies could cause around 360,000 temperature-related future premature deaths 


5 December, Dubai: At a press briefing by Climate Action Network (CAN), Greenpeace revealed a study showing that, in 2022, emissions by Shell, BP, TotalEnergies, Equinor, Repsol, Eni, OMV, Orlen, and Wintershall Dea, could cause an estimated 360,000 temperature-related future premature deaths by 2100. 

Following the publication of the most recent global stocktake text, the briefing also heard that new analysis from the Kick Big Polluters Out (KBPO) coalition calculated that at least 2456 fossil fuel lobbyists have been granted access to the summit.

Speaking about the Greenpeace Netherlands report findings, Lisa Göldner, Fossil Free Revolution Campaigner, Greenpeace International, said:

“The findings, which show that 360,000 people’s lives could be cut short by one single year of emissions, are devastating. Today’s emissions cause tomorrow’s deaths with every metric tonne of carbon emitted igniting a time bomb of future fatalities. This is the chilling toll of the deadly trade of just nine companies and death is inherent within the fossil fuel system.

“Ending global dependence on fossil fuels is a matter of life and death. Profits should not be prioritised over the lives and safety of millions of people. At COP28 governments must agree to stop new fossil fuel projects and to phase out all fossil fuels if we are to send a clear signal that these companies’ deadly business is over.”

David Tong, Oil Change International, Global Industry Campaign Manager, said:

“Fossil fuels must stay in the ground for us to have a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C. The science says we need to keep 60% of oil, gas and coal in the fields and mines that are currently operating from being extracted. 

“We are seeing battle lines clearly drawn between countries in the negotiations as fossil fuel producing nations and their enablers repeat the same tired old lines opposing what the science says.

“The most recent global stocktake text, the first assessment of what countries promised to do under the Paris Agreement, contains explicit references to phasing out fossil fuels which is a massive step forward. Whilst in reality, it is far too little and far too late, it is a critical movement in these negotiations to finally acknowledge the elephant in the room. 

“We now need an energy package and not a menu that countries can pick and choose from. 

We must secure a negotiated package containing an outcome for a full, fast, fair and funded phase out of all fossil fuels.”  

Joseph Sikulu, Pacific Climate Warriors, Member of Kick Big Polluters Out, said:

“It took ten years of relentless campaigning to even get a mention of fossil fuels in the carbon text and since Glasgow we have been playing a game of linguistic gymnasts over phrases such as ‘phase out’, ‘phase down’ or ‘unabated’ or whatever language the polluters use to get around accountability.

“There are more fossil fuel lobbyists at COP than delegates from the ten most climate vulnerable countries combined. We say enough is enough. This poisoning of the process needs to end. We will not let oil and gas influence the future of the Pacific.”  

Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan Climate activist, said that over 22 million people are at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa due to climate change-induced drought while fossil fuel companies raked in over $22tn last year.

She said: “Fossil fuel companies are knowingly pursuing an immoral business model that has lethal consequences particularly for those vulnerable communities in the global south. We ask governments, legislators and the courts to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the lives it endangers. 

“We need to not only address the symptoms of the climate crisis but also the root cause and that is the banning of fossil fuels. All the flashy announcements will mean little if countries continue to expound their development The success of COP28 will not depend on speeches on big stages, new promises on top of old, broken ones but on whether leaders have the courage to call for a just and equitable phase out of all fossil fuels without excuses or exceptions.”


Dharini Parthasarathy, Global Communications Lead, Climate Action Network International, / +918826107830  

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 2000 civil society groups in more than 150 countries together fighting the climate crisis. More information on

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