Oil companies pledge to limit climate change – with a few glaring omissions

17 October 2015 2:57 pm

So in the lead up to the Paris summit, some of the world’s biggest oil companies have declared their support for a global deal to prevent climate change.

As Bloomberg reports, the companies BG Group, BP, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries Ltd., Repsol SA, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total reckon they will back policies consistent with the goal of keeping the increase in average global temperatures to within 2 degrees Celsius.

“Our shared ambition is for a 2 degree Celsius future,” the 10 CEOs said in a joint statement. “Over the coming years we will collectively strengthen our actions and investments to contribute to reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of the global energy mix.”

Just two problems with the statement. None have offered any support for carbon pricing and secondly, and most importantly, the group does not include any of the big US polluters like Exxon and Chevron.

The US is important because the US industry is now booming with shale oil. US shale oil produce huge volumes, and the millions of extra barrels of oil have sent the price of oil plummeting, making it cheaper to burn.

Environmentalist have heaped scorn on the oil companies, saying it’s just a stunt to improve their bad guy image

“The oil companies behind this announcement have spent years lobbying to undermine effective climate action, each and every one of them has a business plan that would lead to dangerous global temperature rises, yet suddenly they expect us all to see them as the solution, not the problem,” Greenpeace campaigner Charlie Kronick said.

“The world should thank them for their offer of advice but politely turn it down. Arsonists don’t make good firefighters.”

And of course, a pledge of support is not the same as taking action. This latest statement does nothing to decarbonise the global economy.