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Title:Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Flock to Plastics Treaty Talks as Scientists,  Environmentalists Seek Conflict of Interest Policies
Author:Jake Bolster

Fossil fuel and chemical company interests are out in force at the United Nations meeting in Nairobi, where delegates from about 170 countries are negotiating the potential terms of a global treaty to reduce plastic pollution.

The Center for International Environmental Law, after combing over the official list of participants, has identified what it describes as 143 fossil fuel and chemical industry lobbyists registered to attend the meeting, presumably to influence the outcome.

They come from some of the biggest names in the fossil fuel and chemical industries, including U.S.-based ExxonMobil and Dow Chemical, participating through trade or lobby organizations such as the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers or the Chemical and Allied Industries Association.

Other industry groups, such as the American Chemistry Council and Plastics Industry Association, are represented, along with their counterparts who represent similar interests in other countries. Some countries, like China and Iran, have petrochemical industry representatives in their official state delegations, according to the CIEL analysis.

Nearly all plastics are made from fossil fuels, so petrochemical companies that make them stand to be directly affected by the talks, which conclude on Sunday. For example, one of the thorniest issues that delegates must come to grips with is whether to cap or reduce plastic production, something environmental groups, scientists and dozens of nations are supporting.

The industry, however, vigorously opposes such limits.

“They’re here,” Bethanie Carney Almroth, a scientist and treaty talks observer, said of the industry representatives. “They are pushing their agenda. They are protecting their business interests,” despite research showing that current and projected levels of plastic production are not sustainable, she said.

“The modeling is showing we need to reduce production,” said Almroth, an ecotoxicology...

Date Added:11/20/2023 6:41:19 AM