“I know when I’m being lobbied.” “We have to listen to everyone’s opinion.” “We need their expertise.”
These are just some of the responses we’re used to getting when we ask EU politicians to stop meeting with the lobbyists of big oil and gas companies like Shell and BP.
But if our politicians are all smart enough to be able to meet with the fossil fuel industry and still be able to write laws to protect the climate, Europe should be on track to phase out fossil fuels and replace them with renewables, right?
European countries are still pushing ahead with plans that would lock us into fossil fuel dependence for the long term.
And fossil fuel lobbyists want to shut down plans that would help ordinary people survive this winter, like capping energy bills or putting a higher tax on their record profits.
It’s never been more obvious that we need to cut ties with fossil fuels - and that means kicking the industry that profits from them out of politics.
Being allowed to meet - and influence - politicians is a privilege, not a right. The European Parliament confirmed this when it voted to kick Russian oil company lobbyists out last year.
In the past decades, fossil fuel giants have spent millions on expert lobbyists to make sure Europe stays hooked on fossil gas while blocking a transition to renewables.
Today, they still enjoy cosy access to the EU’s top climate and energy policymakers. There were more than 100 meetings between the fossil fuel industry and European Commission leaders since February 2022 - that’s one every other day.
Companies like Shell are ussing the same tactics as Big Tobacco: sponsoring greenwashing events for politicians and coming up with dubious research downplaying the dangers of climate change.
Indeed, tobacco lobbyists were agreed to be so dangerous that an international agreement was reached to protect public health policy from them. Article 5.3 of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control restricts their lobbying efforts - and shows the way forward for how fossil fuel lobbyists should be controlled.
For years, we’ve been working hard in Brussels to reduce the influence of those lobbying for climate destruction. Today for the first time, we’re opening up our call - add your voice and join us to kick the fossil fuel lobby out of politics!