Dubai, UAE – Today, a delegation of Republican members of Congress is scheduled to arrive in Dubai for COP28. As negotiations among the 199 member countries continue, it is unclear what role the members of Congress might play in the conference. Their voting records and public campaign finance data showing close ties to the fossil fuel industry raise even further questions.
Among those registered to participate on-site—including multiple members of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee—are Congressman Garret Graves of Louisiana, who has received $973,695 from the fossil fuel industry; Congressman Bill Johnson of Ohio, who has received $865,812 from the fossil fuel industry; Congressman Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, who has received $696,601 from the fossil fuel industry; Congressman Michael Burgess of Texas, who has received $610,978 from the fossil fuel industry, and Congressman Richard Hudson of North Carolina, who has received $573,862 from the fossil fuel industry.
In total, the 17 GOP House members registered to attend the conference have received a whopping $6,199,105 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry alone over the course of their careers in Congress.
In response, Cherelle Blazer, Sierra Club Director of International Climate and Policy, released the following statement:
“With a record number of oil and gas lobbyists attending COP28, it’s no surprise to see a gaggle of their friends in Congress following closely behind. You don’t have to look very hard to see a direct throughline between the millions in campaign contributions they’ve received and the hardheadedness they’ve displayed in refusing to address the climate crisis directly from their perches of power in Congress. There are serious discussions being held here on the global stage, and I’m not certain a taxpayer-funded plane full of extremist climate change deniers will add anything of value to these talks.
“Despite their attendance, we remain hopeful that parties to the talks will reach an agreement that ensures the days of burning dirty fossil fuels–including methane and LNG–are behind us. As the world's leading historical contributor to climate pollution, America is the country that can and must lead this charge, and we look forward to substantive progress being made as COP28 enters its second week.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.