Fossil Free Politics - People in, polluters out

Big Oil set to be grilled by European Parliament for role in energy crisis

Brussels, 2 November 2023 – The European Parliament will hold a public hearing to investigate fossil fuel companies' undue influence on the European Commission’s energy crisis response.


The Parliament’s Petitions Committee confirmed the move after hearing a petition by the Fossil Free Politics coalition on 24 October, signed by over 91 civil society organisations. 

This was backed by research highlighting the substantial influence the fossil fuel industry has had on the European Commission, including over 200 meetings between top Commission officials and fossil fuel companies the year after the Ukrainian invasion [1] [2] [3]. 

The PETI committee agreed with a majority vote to hold a hearing in early 2024, which will include expert speakers, Members of the European Parliament and fossil fuel company representatives. The targeted companies and panel will be decided by the PETI committee next month. 

This was confirmed during a week of action by Fossil Free Politics members and allied trade unions under the name People Over Polluters last week [4]. A success for these groups who have been campaigning for a public hearing since 2022 [5].

Chloé Mikolajczak, Fossil Free Politics coordinator says:

"At a time when the European Commission should have held fossil fuel companies to account for their role in causing and profiteering from the energy crisis, instead they put them in the driving seat to lead the response. 

By calling a public hearing, the European Parliament has listened to the voices of over 100,000 who say there is no room for fossil fuel influence in our politics

This is a first step to hold fossil fuel companies to account, but it’s time for systemic change. We need a conflict of interest framework, similar to that for tobacco companies, to be enshrined to ensure this does not happen again. Fossil fueled interests have no place in our politics."


For more information contact:

Martha Myers, researcher and campaigner, Corporate Europe Observatory, Signal: +310633845623

Chloé Mikolajczak, Fossil Free Politics coordinator, +32486311814

Marcella Via, Press officer, Corporate Europe Observatory +39 3484201435


Follow us at: 

Fossil Free Politics is a European-wide coalition which campaigns for a firewall between the fossil fuel industry and climate policy. It is coordinated by Corporate Europe Observatory, Food and Water Action Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, Global Witness and Greenpeace EU.

EU Transparency Register: 5353162366-85


Notes to editor:

[1] Over 200 meetings between EU Commission senior staff and fossil fuel lobbyists the year after the invasion. Oct 2022

[2] The creation of the EU Energy Platform Industry Advisory Group advised the Commission on new sources of non-Russian gas and new fossil fuel infrastructure in the EU. This ad-hoc body now risks being made permanent. Oct 2022

[3] New research shows fossil fuel companies influenced social/environmental measures to the energy crisis response at EU and national level Oct 2023

[4] More than 100 organisations joined the Fossil Free Politics call to overhaul our political system to ensure our decision makers work for the public good, not private corporations. Oct 2023

[5] A similar petition was previously dismissed by the Petitions Committee in February 2023. 

[6] The PETI petition was linked to a public petition with over 100,000 signatories.

[7] Windfall taxes on European energy companies 'weakened' by intense lobbying in Euronews last week

This article continues after the banner

Support CEO so we can stay independent!