COP28 has become the largest UN climate summit to date, boasting an impressive registration of 80,000 participants, and notably, this year marks the first time their affiliations have been disclosed.
This disclosure requirement is a new development aimed at identifying potential conflicts of interest and uncovering lobbyists among the attendees.
Compared to previous summits, including COP27 in Egypt, where only 49,000 people were accredited, this year’s numbers are significantly higher.
Within this vast gathering, around 23,500 individuals represent official government teams, while an additional 27,208 include policy experts, academics, representatives from professional organizations, and senior executives from major oil companies.
Although these non-official delegates have limited access to the actual negotiations, their presence has raised concerns about the influence of big business on the climate talks.
Notable figures attending COP28 in Dubai include Bill Gates and Antoine Arnault, son of Bernard Arnault, the second wealthiest person globally, following Elon Musk, according to Forbes magazine. The accreditations list extends to over 14,000 organizations, spanning from environmental advocacy groups to industry lobbyists.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on fossil fuel companies to refrain from exerting undue influence and using legal tactics to obstruct climate progress, emphasizing the urgency of addressing climate change.
Additionally, organizers have reported that approximately 400,000 people have registered for day passes to the expansive “green zone” surrounding the talks at the Dubai Expo 2020 site, which has been transformed into a significant showcase for businesses and innovations in the environmental sector.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed that India would host COP33 in 2028, as he addressed the COP28 climate conference in Expo City, Dubai.
During his speech on the second day of the summit, Modi discussed India’s launch of the green credit initiative, which was initially announced in October.
This initiative introduces a market-based mechanism aimed at encouraging voluntary environmental actions across various sectors.