Thousands of Fossil Fuel 'Observers' Attended Climate Negotiations: UNFCCC Data 2005-2018 for COP1-COP24

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IETA exhibit at COP24

Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.

The collection of Global Climate Coalition (GCC) documents we compiled and released this April reveal that the organization had a singular focus, slowing down or derailing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations process and “tracking” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), undermining the scientists’ message of urgency.  In the GCC meeting minutes and press releases we see numerous interventions at the UN meetings along with strategies, budgets and debriefs.

So we decided it would be interesting to compile every fossil fuel company and trade group delegate who ever attended UNFCCC meetings. This research debuted in an Agence-France Press AFP piece and on Yahoo News this week during a UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, Germany.

Non-governmental organizations like the GCC (or Greenpeace) have to gain accreditation with the UN in order to send “observers” to the meetings. Both the individual corporate members of the GCC (like Exxon) and the trade association members of the GCC (like the American Petroleum Institute) sent large delegations to UNFCCC meetings. These employees of oil companies, electric utilities, auto companies and corporate trade associations wore UNFCCC badges that obscured their true corporate employers to attendees, national delegates and media at the meeting.  

For example, we have a document from 1996 from the Shell documents collection released a year ago, a report back to International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) on the second Conference of the Parties (COP2), by employees from Shell, Mobil, Exxon, Texaco, BP, Chevron, Total, ENI who attended the meeting wearing a mix of badges from IPIECA, the GCC, the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Economic Forum, all working together as a team at the meeting.

Activists protest corporate capture outside COP23 in Bonn, Germany
Activists protest corporate capture outside the COP23 UN climate talks in Germany in 2017. Credit: Ashley Braun, DeSmog

The data compiled stretches from COP1 in 1995 to COP24 in December 2018 and paints a picture of corporate attendance at UNFCCC meetings over these years.  Some corporations like Exxon, Shell and Chevron and trade associations like Edison Electric Institute have been there every year from the beginning with one or more people on different accredited trade association delegations.  

The very same corporations and trade associations and some of the same people that went with GCC or IPIECA badges over two decades ago are still there today, wearing different badges stalking the halls and influencing governments at the talks  Some individuals have worn three or more different badges over the years.

The GCC used this access to monitor the progress of negotiations, apply pressure to various national delegations, and utilize the US and other national delegations when they are friendly.

While their goal in the 1990s was to slow the IPCC science process, the engine that drives the negotiations and to derail the negotiations completely if possible, these companies and corporate associations now try to steer the talks toward false solutions that will allow the fossil fuel industry to continue business as usual.


SEE ALSO: The Global Climate Coalition Files: How Big Business Funded Climate Science Denial and Regulatory Delay


Key Findings:

Below is a tally of the total number of delegates over the period 1995-2018. This not a total number of different delegates, it is the total number of people sent, some people going to many different meetings. These numbers can be seen as a representation of the corporation or trade association’s relative prioritization of the UNFCCC process.  

  • Trade Associations that count fossil fuel corporations as members have sent more than 6,400 delegates to the climate talks since 1995 (See Table below)
  • Groups with the highest attendance overall:
    • International Emissions Trading Association: 1,817
    • World Business Council for Sustainable Development: 1,266
    • International Chamber of Commerce: 1,145
  • The corporations previously represented by the controversial GCC continued to attend in high numbers with other trade associations. Since 1995…
    • Exxon sent at least 20 delegates
    • Shell sent at least 137 delegates
    • BP sent at least 26 delegates
    • Chevron sent at least 29 delegates
    • BHP Biliton sent at least 9 delegates
UNFCCC Accredited Trade Group  Attendees
1995-2018
International Emissions Trading Association 1817
World Business Council for Sustainable Development 1266
International Chamber of Commerce 1145
Business Council for Sustainable Energy 490
International Climate Change Partnership  287
Internation Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association 258
Edison Electric Institute  201
Global Climate Coalition 162
BusinessEurope  138
International Gas Union 91
Carbon Capture and Storage Association 80
European Chemical Industry Council 67
International Union of Producers and Distribution 66
Business for Social Responsiility 65
Competitive Enterprise Institute 52
The Climate Council 46
Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. 34
American Chemical Society 31
Business Roundtable 31
Electric Power Research Institute 31
Business Council of Australia 29
World Coal Institute  25
Asociacion Espanola Del Gas 20
National Mining Association 20
Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy 13
TOTAL 6465

Persons of Interest:

Eric Holdsworth: Edison Electric Institute

Brian Flannery: Exxon’s denier on the inside

  • Flannery worked for ExxonMobil for 31 years before retiring in 2011.
  • While with Exxon, Flannery also attended almost every meeting of the climate negotiations since COP1, registering with a number of different fossil fuel industry trade associations including the US Chamber of Commerce, the International Chamber of Commerce and IPIECA.
  • Flannery has a long and well-documented track record of climate denial
  • Flannery has attended practically every UNFCCC meeting, registering under a number of different fossil fuel industry trade associations. Since his retirement from ExxonMobil, Flannery has attended UNFCCC meetings registered under Resources for the Future, a think tank funded by major pollutersincluding Chevron, BP, numerous extractive corporations and a number of automobile corporations and trade associations.
  • Flannery has attended a total of 44 UNFCCC conferences as a representative of the following entities:
INTERNATIONAL PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
IUCNINTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
RESOURCES FOR THE FUTURE

Also of interest:

  • Tanya Morrison of Royal Dutch Shell has been attending since 2010 under the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and the International Chamber of Commerce           
  • Arthur Lee of Chevron, has attended UNFCCC meetings since 1999, predominately with IPIECA. Arthur Lee has worked for or with Chevron for many years on climate change. He has attended 23 UNFCCC conferences as a representative of the following entities:
INTERNATIONAL PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
ASOCIACION REGIONAL DE EMPRESAS DE PETROLEO Y GAS NATURAL EN LATINOAMERICA Y EL CARIBE
WORLD BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
INTERNATIONAL PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
IUCNINTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE
WORLD BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
INTERNATIONAL EMISSIONS TRADING ASSOCIATION
INTERNATIONAL CRYOSPHERE CLIMATE INITIATIVE

ALL GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION DELEGATES 1995-2001


YEAR COP# First Name Last Name Company COP Registration Organization/Badge
1995 COP1 David Banks American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Paul Cicio Dow Chemical Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Robert Cole Kaiser Aluminum Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Christopher Degnen Ford Motor Company Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Gary Ehlig Exxon Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 David  Finnegan American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Gordon Fry Auminum Association Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Bronson Gardner Global Climate Coalition (no affiliation listed) Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Jim Green Mobil Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Roy  Hamme Duke Power Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Dale Heydlauff American Electric Power Service Corporaton Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Erik K Holdsworth Global Climate Coalition Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Thomas Kirlin American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Elizabeth Lunney Global Climate Coalition Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 C.V. Mathai Arizona Public Service Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Robert McFadden American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 John McManus American Electric Power Service Corporaton Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Joshua Metz Global Climate Coalition Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 William Mulligan Chevron Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Charles Sharp American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 John Shlaes Global Climate Coalition Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 James Taylor Mobil Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1995 COP1 Porter Womeldorff Illinois Power Company Global Climate Coalition
1996 COP2 Leonard Bernstein Mobil Oil corporation Global Climate Coalition
1996 COP2 Robert Haines Mobil Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1996 COP2 Rufus Yerxa Mobil Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1996 COP2 Laura Armstrong American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 David Banks American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Steve Barry American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Michael Canes American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Mary Canes American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Buddy Eller Southern Company Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 David  Finnegan American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Gordon Fry Aluminum Association Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Brosnon Gardner Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Roy  Hamme Duke Power Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Eric Holdsworth Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Thomas Kirlin American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Robert McFadden American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Robert Moss American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 William Mulligan Chevron Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Roger Nelson BHP Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Alex Oram Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Jene Robinson Illinois Power Company Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Charles Sharp American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 John Shlaes Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Marie Takemoto Chrystler Corporation Global Climate Coaliton
1996 COP2 Liz Walker Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Jeff Allison Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Laura Armstrong American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 David O. Banks American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Leonard Bernstein Mobil Oil Corporation Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Steven K  Berry American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Robert J Bluhm Air Transport Association Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Mary Brooks Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 John Buscher Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Tom Calcagni Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 James Cicconi Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Tom Cooney Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Josephine  Cooper Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Mitch Dubensky Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Gary F Ehlig Exxon Research & Engineering Co. Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 David Finnegan American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 James Freel Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Gordon H Fry Aluminum Association Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 James E Green Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Ronert W Haines Mobil Corporation Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Erik K Holdsworth Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Ethan Holmes Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Karen Holtschneider Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Lois Johnston Texaco Inc. Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Bruce Josten Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Allen Kelly Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Richard Ketler Air Transport Association Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Tom Kirlin Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Katherine S. Kirlin Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Betty Kitz Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Charles  Kitz Chrystler Corporation Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Maureen Koetz Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Howard Lewis Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Cathy Marshall Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Timothy McBride Chrystler Corporation Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Katherine McBride Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Gail McDonald Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Robert McFadden American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Yoshimori Miyahara Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 David Montgomery International Chamber of Commerce Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Jay Morgan Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Ken Morino Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Bob Moss Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 William O’Keefe American Petroleum Institute (not listed on UNFCCC doc) Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 James Pasek General Motors Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Lino Piedra Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Terry Pritchett General Motors Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Donald Rheem E. Bruce Harrison Company Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Michael Rucker Edison Electric Institute Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Charles Sharp American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Patricia Sharp Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Susan Skerker Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Nicole Solomon Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Bruce Steiner Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Bruce  Stewer Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Dennis Stole Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Marie Takemoto Chrystler Corporation Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Akira Wakasugi Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Robert Warren Air Transport Association Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Mike Wascom Global Climate Coaliton
1997 COP3 Jim  Williams Global Climate Coaliton
1998 COP4 David Banks Global Climate Coalition Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Leonard  Bernstein Mobil Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Laura Catalano Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 William  Chernowitz Mobil Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 David  Finnegan American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Robert Haines Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Eric Holdsworth Global Climate Coalition Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Russell Jones American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Charles  Kitz Chrysler Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Bill Kovacs US Chamber of Commerce Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Tom  Marx Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Robert McFadden American Automobile Manufacturers Association Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Isabel  Mirando Mobil Corporation Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Jay Morgan Ford Motor Company Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 William  O’Keefe American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Terry  Pritchett General Motors Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Michael Shanahan American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Susan  Skerker Ford Motor Company Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Scott  Solomon Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Bruce Steiner American Iron & Steel Institute Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Karen Stephenson Global Climate Coalition
1998 COP4 Martin Zimmerman Ford Motor Company Global Climate Coalition
1999 COP5 David HOLMES National Mining Association GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Don TURK Mobil Corporation GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Donald HILLEBRAND GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Gary EVANS National Rural Electric Cooperative Association GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Gerald ESPER GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Glenn KELLY GCC, Executive Director GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5  John WETZEL Association of American Railroads GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Michael SHANAHAN American Petroleum Institute GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Robert MCFADDEN GHG Associates GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Russell JONES American Petroleum Institute GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Tom MARX General Motors GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 William O’KEEFE American Petroleum Institute GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Karen HULME GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 David FINNEGAN Mayer, Brown & Platt, Consulant GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Eric HOLDSWORTH Deputy Director GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Mary KENKEL Edison Electric Institute, Director, Media Relations GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Jim GREEN Mobil Corporation, Government Relations GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 David BANKS Manager, Public Affairs GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Terry PRITCHETT General Motors, Manager GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Byron MCCORMICK Ford Motor Company, Senior Regulations Engineer, Vehicle Environmental Engineering GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
1999 COP5 Bill GOULD Programme Manager GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
2000 COP6 Glenn KELLY  GCC, Executive Director GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
2000 COP6 Michael SHANAHAN  American Petroleum Institute GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
2000 COP6 Robert H. MCFADDEN  GHG Associates GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
2000 COP6 William O’KEEFE  American Petroleum Institute, Executive Vice President  GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
2000 COP6 Phil COONEY American Petroleum Institute GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
2000 COP6 Russell JONES American Petroleum Institute GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
2000 COP6 Eric K. HOLDSWORTH Deputy Director GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
2000 COP6 Gary R. EVANS National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Strategic Planning and Analysis GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
2001 COP7 Glenn KELLY  GCC, Executive Director Global Climate Coalition (GCC)
2001 COP7 Robert GRECO  American Petroleum Institute Global Climate Coalition (GCC)
2001 COP7 Robert H. MCFADDEN  GHG Associates Global Climate Coalition (GCC)

Main image: The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) exhibit at COP24 in Poland in 2018. Credit: Chloé Farand, DeSmog

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