Ten Carbon Majors Support Global Climate Deal

oil rig
BHP Billiton's Shenzi Petroleum development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (Photo courtesy BHP Billiton)


LONDON, UK, September 7, 2015 (ENS) – Ten of the world’s largest fossil fuel producers support an international deal at this year’s UN climate conference, COP21, in Paris that will limit climate warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to the nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP.

Acting on behalf of investors, CDP asked companies, “Would your organization’s board of directors support an international agreement between governments on climate change, which seeks to limit global temperature rise to under 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels in line with IPCC scenarios such as RCP2.6?”

RCPs, or representative concentration pathways, as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2014, describe four possible climate futures, all of which are considered possible depending on how much greenhouse gases are emitted.

The RCP2.6 pathway assumes sustained net negative human greenhouse gas emissions after the year 2070. Negative emissions means that in total, humans absorb more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than they release.

CDP put this question to 28 of the world’s largest energy firms that together account for 26 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

oil rig
BHP Billiton’s Shenzi Petroleum development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (Photo courtesy BHP Billiton)

Among the 10 energy producers to confirm their support of a global climate deal in Paris are three UK companies: Anglo American, BG Group, and BHP Billiton; as well as Italy’s Eni SpA, Russia’s Gazprom, Spain’s Repsol, Royal Dutch Shell, South Africa’s Sasol, Norway’s Statoil and France’s Total.

Despite widespread understanding that fossil fuel reserves will have to remain untapped if dangerous climate change is to be averted, CDP says that none of the 28 carbon majors queried answered “no” in response to the question.

Those energy companies that did not answer in the affirmative either left the question blank, said they had no opinion, or chose not disclose it publicly.

Absent from this analysis are Canadian Natural Resources Limited, which has indicated it will disclose at a later date, as well as Coal India, Rosneft and Marathon Oil, which have not responded to their investors’ requests for climate disclosure through CDP.

Releasing the survey results on September 2, CDP’s Executive Chairman Paul Dickinson said, “It is time for governments to listen to the business voice in support of climate progress rather than to be influenced by a minority and downgrade environmental priorities.”

Gazprom workers construct Power of Siberia gas pipeline across eastern Russia, Sept. 2014 (Photo courtesy Gazprom)

“Companies are telling us, and their investors, that they welcome climate action, which brings prosperity and growth,” he said.

“Corporations, investors and governments can cooperate to ensure a successful Paris agreement that brings net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of the century ensuring sustainable growth for all,” Dickinson said.

Overall, CDP put the question to more than 2,300 listed companies.

Results show that the majority of companies that have an opinion supporting a global climate deal: 805 companies answered yes, just 111 said no.

A high number of companies, 1,075, stated that they had no opinion, and 331 did not respond to the question.

Said Dickinson, “Huge opportunities to be part of the solution, build resilience and gain competitive advantage are on the table for companies right now.”

“Decarbonization is essential for the long-term sustainability of the global economy,” he said. “Businesses that commit to reduce their emissions in line with what science demands, adopt renewable energy and innovate at this critical time will reap the gains.”

The survey results come as the United Nations this week in Bonn, Germany, concluded interim negoations on a draft text of a legally-binding climate change deal.

Countries are currently submitting their proposed contributions towards achieving this deal to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.


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