READ THE DISCUSSION PAPER

Published by Oil Change International.

Endorsed by Amazon Watch, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, BankTrack, Bold Alliance, BothENDS, Christian Aid, Centre for International Environmental Law, Culture Unstained, Earthworks, Environmental Defence Canada, Friends of the Earth US, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Global Witness, Greenpeace USA, Hip Hop Caucus, Indigenous Environmental Network, Les Amis de la Terre, Milieudefensie, Power Shift Network, Rainforest Action Network, Reclaim Finance, Recourse, ShareAction, Sierra Club, SOMO, Sunrise Project, Stand.earth, Urgewald, Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network, 350.org.

September 2020

Download the discussion paper.
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As oil and gas companies claim to be part of the solution of the climate crisis, the reality couldn’t be more different. Our new discussion paper analyzes the current climate commitments of eight of the largest integrated oil and fossil gas companies, and reveals that none come close to aligning their actions with the urgent 1.5°C global warming limit as outlined by the Paris Agreement.

This discussion paper measures oil and gas company climate plans against ten minimum criteria, focusing on the ambition, integrity, and ability necessary to implement a just transition and achieve a 1.5°C aligned managed decline of oil and fossil gas. Focusing on the oil majors, BP, Chevron, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell, and Total, we find that only one company has committed to cutting oil and gas production over the next decade, and even that pledge (BP’s stated commitment to cut production by 40% by 2030) excludes around a third of the oil and gas it invests in extracting via its major share in oil giant Rosneft. Below is a summary table of these criteria included in the discussion paper.

While the oil majors are responding to mounting public pressure that is rightfully stripping away their social license, we reveal that their responses to this pressure are dominated by empty rhetoric and obfuscation. The oil and gas industry needs to rapidly phase out its extraction-based business model and repair the climate damages it has caused. Governments, investors, and communities should not assume the industry most responsible for causing the climate crisis will do its fair share to solve it. Governments in particular must step in to manage the decline in fossil fuels, by phasing out fossil fuel production and implementing Just Transition measures.

Click here to download the full discussion paper.

14 Comments

  • If we continue to perpetuate the fossil fuel economies, we are all going to die from the effects of climate change!!! We need to completely abolish these industries, and the only way we will ever do that is by seizing the means of production so that the people, and not a myopically avaricious elite, can democratically implement structurally green energy sources.

  • And most (all?) of these companies are still getting subsidized by taxpayers to make climate change WORSE! Also, some pension funds still invest in them–they should divest NOW.

  • You are leaving this mess to your children and grandchildren. You must really care about them when they are choking for air

  • Summary table of criteria included in the discussion paper shows total lack of concern or commitment by the oil companies that none come close to aligning their actions with the urgent 1.5°C global warming limit as outlined by the Paris Agreement. Governments responsible for the world community must step in to manage the decline in fossil fuels, by phasing out fossil fuel production and implementing Just Transition measures.

  • We must phase out oil, but in order to do that, there must be alternatives. EV’s will help, but they are still pretty pricey for many people. I don’t know what to suggest for airplanes. Any hope of electric airplanes?

    Anyway, keep up the good work. we mustn’t stop the fight.

  • I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence above (Governments in particular must step in…).
    Starting in late January 2021: Stop drilling new oil wells. Any existing well not producing oil (or gas) must not be drilled deeper, or whatever is done to increase production. Stop fracking, period. Stop selling leases, and consequently drilling, on federal lands and in federal off-shore waters. Following in about another year, stop mining coal (allowing electric producers a little time “to see the light”. Stop building pipe lines. The Canadians do not have to ship their tar sand “oil” through the US to Texas so that it can be shipped to the Middle East for refining and then returned to the US, or sent to China or where else.
    I’m not trying to be cruel to the US oil and coal producers. They could have easily “seen the light” one, two or ten years ago and already being the largest solar cell or wind turbine producers.

  • How will the oil companies stop their exploration when consumers are still consuming at record amounts – We still need the energy – What green energies will replace the carbon based fuels?

    I believe we need to drive full scale to a hydrogen based or nuclear based economy. Both are viable but governments need to take the lead. Electrification is the answer or hydrogen vehicles. We need to drive the oil industries to decide that there is no money in oil and gas anymore. Governments need to introduce the legislation to make this happen. We also should drive the oil lobieists away and make them shrink to nothing.

  • Another key aspect that is often overlooked in discussions of reducing extraction of oil and gas is the production of plastic. These large oil companies see increased production of plastic as a solution to the decreased use of petroleum products as fuel. Hence, they are in the process of planning / building hundreds of new plants in this country to produce ever rising amounts of plastic. A prime example is an enormous complex being built by a company called Formosa in Louisiana. As long as the companies have or can create a demand for their products they will continue to extract oil and gas.

  • Absolutely unacceptable lets nationalize them & bring them into the peoples accountability!

    Its not the oil companies world, it’s ours every single human being all 7 billion of us!

    Company’s are a privileged aberrational presence that is a privelage & not a right.

  • Many thanks for this helpful guide showing that no companies have valid programs to help reduce climate chaos. Please, where can we purchase gas when unable to purchase hybrid or electric cars but must drive?

  • What needs to be addressed, probably more than anything else, is how elected officials are influenced by the bribes they receive from the Fossil Fuel industry. This includes the one currently sitting in the oval office.

    We should be up in arms, insisting that those who are elected by the people should represent the people, and not the selfish special interests that can buy their way in to corporate profits without regard to the environmental damage they are causing.

    Our grandchildren deserve a better planet that these politicians are creating for them.

  • This seems to pose a hypothetical where all gas companies are shut down overnight. Any phase out of gas would take place over a long time. Maybe too long, but it can’t really be helped. The idea is to stop exacerbating climate change caused by continuing to sell new gas-powered cars. Price subsidies for EV purchases may be needed for some time. Granted, this will be a difficult transition, because Americans have been encouraged to enjoy joyriding and flee cities where public transport is a viable option. But at least stop subsidizing fossil fuel companies and building more gas-powered vehicles–this is only delaying the inevitable and may well push us beyond the point of no return on climate change.

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