A total of 636 oil and gas lobbyists have registered to attend the COP27 event in Egypt, 25% more than the number that attended COP26 climate summit in the UK and more than the combined delegates of the ten countries most impacted by climate change.
The oil and gas lobby is larger than any single national delegation apart from the United Arab Emirates, who are slated to host next year’s conference.The oil and gas lobbyists will be aiming to protect the interests of the fossil fuel industry. For instance, they could push back against measures that ban new gas projects and urge delegates to accept development of oil fields in developing nations.
They will have their work cut out for them.
Leaders of island nations have already called on countries to pay for climate reparations by taxing big oil. Oil industry lobbyists are likely to try to water down any agreements to this effect.
Dubbed the African COP, COP27 is likely to simultaneously address the dire climate impacts on the continent and showcase the continent’s fossil fuels potential, rendering the lobbyists’ inclusion understandable.
Back in March, Vijaya Ramachandran, director for energy and development at the Breakthrough Institute, proposed that Germany and Europe should look to Africa, if they are serious about achieving energy security. Ramachandran noted that the continent is endowed with substantial natural gas production, reserves, and new discoveries in the process of being tapped. Very little of Africa’s gas has been exploited, either for domestic consumption or export.
Algeria is already an established major gas producer with substantial untapped reserves and is connected to Spain with several undersea pipelines. Germany and the EU are already working to expand pipeline capacity connecting Spain with France, from where more Algerian gas could flow to Germany and elsewhere. Libyan gas fields are connected by pipeline to Italy.
New pipelines under discussion currently focus on the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline Project, which would bring gas from Israel’s offshore gas fields to Europe. Senegal has recently discovered major offshore fields. Meanwhile, Mozambique is already developing its vast natural gas resources.
By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com
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