Oil lobbyists, the representatives that bring influence to policymaking from within the fuel industry, are one of the biggest obstacles in combatting climate change. With their financial resources, they influence politicians and lawmakers to find loopholes in climate change legislation so that it benefits their counterparts: fossil fuel companies.
Fossil fuel companies and other polluting industries have poured millions of dollars into lobbying efforts and campaign contributions to block or weaken climate policies, such as carbon pricing, renewable energy standards, and regulations on emissions. They use their influence to push for subsidies, tax breaks and other forms of support that benefit their bottom line, while actively opposing any meaningful action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The result is that our political system is heavily skewed in favor of these special interests, and progress on climate change is painfully slow. The majority of the population is in favor of more ambitious climate action, and yet, politicians are more interested in listening to the special interests that finance their campaigns instead of the people that they are supposed to represent. It is the activists’ duty to raise awareness about these issues and to push for a political system that is accountable to the people, not the special interests. Advocating for campaign finance reform, to reduce the influence of money in politics, and to ensure that our political leaders are responsive to the needs of the public, not the special interests, is incredibly important.
There also needs to be advocating for policies that put people and the planet first, such as a green New Deal, carbon pricing, and support for renewable energy. Elected officials need to be pressured to take bold action to address the climate crisis, and to reject the influence of special interests that are standing in the way of progress.