George Soros
There is no evidence US philanthropist George Soros attended the COP26 climate change summit. Image by AP

Soros climate summit conspiracy a case of mistaken identity

William Summers September 22, 2022
WHAT WAS CLAIMED

US billionaire George Soros attended the UN's COP26 climate summit in 2021.

OUR VERDICT

False. George Soros was not on the participant list at COP26. The claim appears to have mistaken Sir David Attenborough for Mr Soros.

An Australian “freedom” activist has attempted to cast doubt on the true intentions of the UN’s 2021 COP26 climate change summit, claiming billionaire philanthropist George Soros was in the audience.

The claim is false. Mr Soros was not listed as a participant at COP26 and there is no evidence he attended. The person making the claim appears to have misidentified Sir David Attenborough as Mr Soros. 

The claim was made in a Facebook video (screenshot here) by Pat Mesiti, an “income acceleration coach” and self-described “freedom fighter” (video mark 44min 43sec).

In the video, he plays a news clip of King Charles (then Prince Charles) addressing COP26 delegates during the opening day of the conference on October 31 last year. 

Charles used the speech to advocate for a “military-style” transition away from fossil fuels towards a future “that is genuinely renewable and sustainable”.

The clip of the speech included shots of several global leaders in the audience, including US President Joe Biden, former UK prime minister Boris Johnson and former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison

Mr Mesiti twice claims Mr Soros was also in the COP26 audience at Glasgow.

A screenshot of the Facebook video.
 Mr Mesiti says US billionaire George Soros attended the UN’s climate summit. 

The claim matters because Mr Soros – a 92-year-old hedge fund billionaire – is often the subject of baseless and sometimes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories (see here, here, here and here), including he has sought to engineer global destabilisation

Before playing the clip of Charles’ speech, Mr Mesiti says: “And what the heck is George Soros doing in that meeting?” (video mark 14min 43sec). 

After the clip, he says: “Yes I know that they are planning the food shortages. Yes, I know that they’re planning economic disorder. As I said, what the heck was Soros doing at a UN climate change meeting ÔǪ Biden was there, Morrison was there, and there’s a shot of Soros, unless my eyes are playing up on me” (video mark 20min 20sec). 

Despite the claim, there’s no evidence Mr Soros attended the conference. 

A spokesman for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) told AAP FactCheck in an email that COP26 participant lists were published on the UNFCCC website here and here

The lists are split into two parts. Part one lists representatives of individual countries. Part two lists representatives from the UN, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organisations. 

Hundreds of participants are listed, but Mr Soros is not among the names. 

However, the list includes two representatives from Open Society Foundations, a global philanthropy organisation founded and chaired by Mr Soros. 

Mr Soros’s Twitter account did not mention COP26 at any point during October and November 2021 and provided no indication he was at the event.  

He does not appear to feature in any official photos from the event published on the UNFCCC Flickr account. 

AAP FactCheck could not find any other evidence of Mr Soros’s attendance. 

Sir David Attenborough
 This is British broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, not US philanthropist George Soros. 

The false claim may be a case of mistaken identity.

The TV clip of Charles’ speech included a brief shot of veteran British naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, who spoke at the conference on the same day (video here). 

AAP FactCheck asked Mr Mesiti if he had perhaps mistaken Sir David for Mr Soros, but did not receive a response.

The Verdict

The claim George Soros attended the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in 2021 is false. Mr Soros was not listed as an attendee and there is no evidence he was at the event.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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