Climate change

Oil and meat producing countries lobby against climate action before COP26

Oil and gas giants well aware of the dire risks posed by rising temperatures nonetheless undermining confidence in climate science
Oil and gas giants well aware of the dire risks posed by rising temperatures nonetheless undermining confidence in climate science Hector RETAMAL AFP/File

Some of the world’s major fossil fuel and meat producing countries are making a case against comprehensive climate change action in the run-up to the landmark COP26 summit in Glasgow. 


Ecology watchdog Greenpeace's investigative journalism platform Unearthed said on Thursday that "a source outside Greenpeace" leaked the documents to one of its journalists.

The files reveal how Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia and OPEC tried to urge the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to water down a key UN scientific report

The IPCC organizes the "Conference Of Parties" or COP26 on climate change that is to take place in Glasgow from October 31-November 12.  


The revelations come from a leak of tens of thousands of comments by governments, corporations, academics and others on the crucial Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC’s ‘Working Group III’ (Wg3) on "Mitigation of Climate Change", an international team of experts that is looking into humanity’s remaining options for cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.

Researchers found that the world's major fossil fuel producers, including Australia, Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), are lobbying the IPCC to remove or weaken a key conclusion that the world needs to rapidly phase out fossil fuels.

According to Unearthed, phrases like ‘the need for urgent and accelerated mitigation actions at all scales’ should be eliminated' were asked to be scrapped.

"Last best chance"

Meanwhile, Brazil and Argentina, two of the world’s biggest producers of beef and animal feed, an agro/industrial segment that is responsible for over a quarter of global CO2 emissions, were seen lobbying to get rid of remarks about measures that would benefit the climate, such as promoting ‘plant-based’ diets and cutting down on the consumption of meat and dairy products.

The news, which comes just days before the COP26 negotiations in Glasgow, a UN conference that has been described as the world’s “last best chance to get runaway climate change under control” is likely to raise questions on how realistic it is to expect a final document that guarantees success in effectively fighting climate change.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Keep up to date with international news by downloading the RFI app