9th November 2021, Glasgow – Senior figures from two of the world’s biggest polluting fossil fuel firms, BP and Shell, have withdrawn their participation from a side event today at COP26, taking place just a day after new analysis showed the presence of 503 fossil fuel lobbyists at the talks.  

Ingrid Parramon, a Director at BP and David Hone, Chief Climate Change Adviser for Shell International were both due to participate in a panel event at the International Emissions Trading Association Pavilion, inside the COP26 Blue Zone. Speaking to Global Witness staff in Glasgow, the event moderator from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, confirmed that both Parramon and Hone withdrew their participation.

It follows new analysis by environmental campaigners, Global Witness, Corporate Accountability, Corporate Europe Observatory and Glasgow Calls out Polluters showing that 503 fossil fuel lobbyists were granted access to COP26. If the fossil fuel lobby were a country delegation at COP it would be the largest – two dozen more than the largest country delegation. Representatives from the organisations that produced this analysis were planning to attend the IETA event to ask questions about the activities of BP and Shell during this vital climate summit.  

Murray Worthy, Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:

“If the fossil fuel industry truly believe they have a positive role to play in climate discussions, then it begs the question why can’t BP and Shell turn up and publicly defend their record?

“Perhaps this is a sign that deep down they know what we already know. There is no legitimate role for big polluters at COP. This must be the last time that fossil fuel lobbyists are allowed to walk the corridors of the UN climate talks delaying and distracting from what's needed - a phase out of fossil fuels.

“With the world quickly running out of time to avert climate disaster, this COP absolutely must be a success. The case for meaningful global action must not be diverted by a festival of polluters and their mouthpieces, who have no interest in seeing the changes we need to protect people and the planet.”