Oil and gas companies should be considered a tobacco industry and should not hold regular meetings with EU officials.
Since 2015, six oil and gas giants, BP and Norwegian Ecuador, as well as fossil fuels have held 568 meetings with senior officials of the European Commission. And including the Corporate Europe Observatory.
According to the researchers, 70 former government ministers and other public officials are working for these oil and gas companies, and according to NGOs, the energy companies will be able to access “insights and contacts”.
According to the group, former UK Secretary of Energy and Climate Change Amber Rad, now chairman of the Equinor Advisory Board, formerly known as Statiol, is a public servant who has passed through the “revolving door”. Rudd said in June 2020 that her role in the UK Parliamentary Business Advisory Committee would “not include any contact or communication with the British Government.”
The report also checks the names of two former British public servants BP: Sir John Sawers, former head of MI6, BP CEO; General Sir Houghton, Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces, took over as a consultant in 2017.
NGOs did not count on how many environmentalists did with EU officials at the time, but Miriam Duo, an activist for the Friends of Europe, argued that the comparison was wrong. She said companies can make their voices heard by consultants, business groups, lobbyists and think tanks. On the contrary, she said, NGOs tended to group EU officials and did not have the same influencers as the previous government working for them.
EU decision-makers need to stop contacting fossil fuels and lobbyists, and officials have called on them to take inspiration from international efforts to stop smoking.
“The fossil fuels industry is very harmful to the environment… and on the other hand you have a public interest in finding a viable planet. And these two will always be irreconcilable, so what we are asking for is the same action that was applied to fossil lobsters on tobacco.
For example, she suggested that policymakers follow the framework agreement of the World Health Organization’s tobacco control guidelines, and urged governments to “take steps to limit their involvement with the tobacco industry.”
The Guardian spoke to the European Commission, BP, Equinor and the International Association of Petroleum and Gas Producers.