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The five oil and gas giants and their fossil fuel lobbies have spent a quarter of a billion euros since 2010 to defend their businesses. REUTERS / Francois Lenoir

The five largest private oil companies in the world, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total, have spent € 250 million lobbying the EU, according to a study by several environmental NGOs. In nine years, they have put almost as much money as all global investors in renewable energy to influence decisions made by Europe.

Since the inauguration of the European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker in 2014, the oil majors and their 200 lobbyists in Brussels have held 327 meetings with officials of the European Commission.

In nine years, the oil giants have paid 250 million euros to defend their activities, reveals a report from several environmental NGOs . Incomplete data because lobbies' expenses are reported by the oil industry, but shed light on their strategy.

" We took the chronology of spending lobbies these industries and we compare with the major issues climate and energy that were decided at European level. It is obvious that the expenses of the lobbies really follow these files. For example, in 2014, when the European Union decided on its climate and energy targets for 2030, it is here that we have a peak in spending by the fossil industry lobbies, which spent nearly 35 million this year. euros. The decisions taken in 2014 are non-binding targets, no taxation on energy efficiency, they are weakened measures. We therefore strongly suspect that the fossil industry lobby has something to do with it, "says Myriam Douo of the NGO Les Amis de la Terre .

Although the offending groups deny any interaction, the NGOs call for a firewall to limit meetings with lobbists, and to do so in a transparent manner.

► See also: Corporate Europe Observatory report, Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe and Greenpeace EU