The five biggest oil and gas companies, and their industry groups, have spent at least €251m (£217m) lobbying the European Union over climate policies since 2010, research has revealed.
Declarations from the EU’s transparency register reveal BP, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Total have registered spending €123m between 2010 and 2018 on lobbying EU institutions, the report by a coalition of NGOs reveals. Their 13 industry groups declared spending a further €128m in the same period.
In total, between 2010 and 2018 the companies and their lobbying industry bodies have spent at least €251.3m on lobbying activities within EU institutions, according to the report.
The researchers say the figure represents the tip of the iceberg, as in some years companies made no declarations of spending in the voluntary register. The report also does not examine lobbying spending by each company relating to national parliaments and institutions.
Analysis of the European commission’s public record of meetings shows the oil firms and their industry groups employ 200 lobbyists in Brussels, who have held 327 meetings with top EC officials since 2014, when Jean-Claude Juncker took office – the equivalent of more than one meeting per week.
Pascoe Sabido, researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory, said: “Big polluters like Shell, BP and their lobby groups have delayed, weakened and sabotaged EU action on the climate emergency thanks to their hefty lobby spending. A cool quarter of a billion over the last decade buys a lot of access and influence in Brussels.”