Relationship with oil giants too ‘cosy’

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Concerns have been raised that the Government has too “cosy” a relationship with oil companies after it emerged Foreign Office staff were working for Shell.

Two Foreign Office employees have been formally seconded to Shell since May 2010 as government relations advisers for periods of between one and two years, with their salary costs met by Shell, a Freedom of Information request showed.

Environmentalists said the Government should not be so close to oil companies which are increasingly targeting fragile environments such as the Arctic, when the world needed to shift away from fossil fuels to tackle climate change.

But Shell said the arrangement built “trust and understanding” between Government and businesses.

Green MP Caroline Lucas said: “It’s simply wrong for the fossil fuel giants to have such cosy relationships with government departments. These companies are lobbying the Government on issues like Arctic drilling at a time when we urgently need to be reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”

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