ExxonMobil could soon join Monsanto as one of the only two companies not allowed to lobby European Union lawmakers because of its role in promoting climate change denial.
ExxonMobil could lose lobbying access to members of European Parliament after it failed to turn up to a hearing Thursday into whether or not the oil giant knowingly spread false information about climate change.
In a statement, ExxonMobil said that it was unable to attend because of "ongoing climate change-related litigation in the U.S."
The oil and gas giant is accused of having actively concealed information about the link between fossil fuels and global warming. At the same time, the company has spent money to fund campaigns to deceive the public and politicians and to promote climate denial on a large scale.
The ban request is being submitted by the Green Party European parliamentarian, Molly Scott Cato. “This is the company that denied the science, despite knowing the damage their oil exploitation was causing; which funded campaigns to block action on climate and now refuses to face up to its environmental crimes by attending today’s hearing. We cannot allow the lobbyists from such corporations free access to the corridors of the European Parliament. We must remove their badges immediately,” she said.
Internal company documents presented at the hearing by Geoffrey Supran, a Harvard University research fellow, detailed ExxonMobil’s public forays into global warming debate and its funding relationship with groups sowing doubt about human-caused climate change.
A study released by InfluenceMap, an independant U.K based organization which analyzes the extent to which corporations are influencing climate policy, shows that ExxonMobil invested more than US$50 million of shareholder funds on misleading climate-related lobyying and branding in the three year since the 2015 Paris agreement.
ExxonMobil spent over US$40 million on lobbying efforts in the EU since 2010. If the vote goes against the energy giant, it would lose that right in the European Parliament. The vote is expected by the end of April.
Monsanto was banned in 2017 from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference.