When the treaty was negotiated in November last year, 143 lobbyists from fossil fuel companies were present.

Spike in fossil fuel lobbyists slated to attend the UN negotiations on plastic pollution

An analysis by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) found that 196 lobbyists from the fossil fuel and chemical industries have registered to be at the United Nations negotiations on the first global treaty to curb plastic pollution in Ottawa, Canada. When the treaty was negotiated in November last year, 143 lobbyists from fossil fuel companies were present. This time, this figure shows an increase of 37% in their number. This number is more than the number of representatives included in the European Union delegation.

According to another report, given the negotiations in Canada, many companies have begun to increase their oil and gas production for polymers in expectation of a significant response to climate change that might reduce the output of fossil fuels. The report said China, Russia, India, and the United States of America are not in favour of phase-outs of single-use plastic or reductions in the production of primary plastic polymers or chemicals used in their manufacture. 

Fossil fuel investments by US universities draw outrage from students 

According to the Guardian, campus organisers at three US universities have filed lawsuits claiming that their institutions’ investment in planet-warming fossil fuels is unlawful. In letters to the attorney general of their respective states, students from Columbia University, Tulane University, and the University of Virginia urged them to carefully examine the investments made by their respective universities. They charge that their universities are in violation of a statute enacted by 49 states, which mandates that non-profit organisations employ “prudence” and “loyalty” in their investments and take into account their “charitable purposes.” Another report by the publication found that following a $25 million grant from Shell, Louisiana State University let the major fossil fuel producer influence research and looked for funding from other such companies. According to a document from the university’s fundraising committee, the university will let an oil firm “weigh in” on academic research projects for $5 million. Alternatively, a firm can engage in a research project for $100,000, which will grant it access to all the intellectual property produced as well as “robust” reviewing capabilities. 

Taxing fossil fuel majors could fund raise about $900bn in climate finance: Report

A new report calculated that an additional tax on fossil fuel majors based in the wealthiest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries could raise $720 billion (£580 billion) by the end of the decade. The authors said the levy could be easily administered within existing tax systems. They calculate that if the tax were introduced in OECD countries in 2024 at an initial rate of $5 a tonne of CO2 equivalent, increasing by $5 a tonne each year, it would raise a total of $900 billion by 2030. Of that, $720 billion would go to the loss and damage fund with the remaining $180 billion earmarked as a “domestic dividend” to support communities within richer nations with a just climate transition.

After the passing of his 21-year-old son, Hussein Julood, a citizen of Iraq, has filed a lawsuit against the British oil company BP.  Julood claimed that his son Ali’s leukaemia was brought on by burning of gas at an oil field in Iraq that BP owned. The activity is also called flaring. This is the first instance of a private citizen suing a large oil company over flaring activities, BBC said.  According to Julood, “toxic emissions from the Rumaila oilfield” are to blame for Ali’s leukaemia and eventual death. As the primary contractor, BP bears some of the blame. In his published statement in Guardian, he said “Ali was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 15. The cancer caused him to drop out of school, leave his football team and spend years undergoing painful medical treatment. He died at the age of 21 on 21 April, 2023.”  Julood is requesting payment for the expenses incurred due to his son’s medical care, which includes chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants performed abroad, as well as for lost wages, burial expenses, and the “moral loss” of his son. BP responded by saying that “we understand the concerns” and are supporting change. 

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