Energy firms’ fossil fuel investments radically conflict with climate change obligations

By | January 6, 2023

Byline Times reports:

The world’s largest fossil fuel firms are spending huge sums of money on new projects that will accelerate the likelihood of climate catastrophe, according to a new report released by the financial think tank, Carbon Tracker Initiative.

The report examined the future investment plans of major fossil fuel companies, assessing their compatibility with international climate obligations set at the 2015 Paris Agreement – finding that future investments were significantly misaligned with the 1.5°C target.

Under the net zero emission estimates drawn up by the International Energy Agency (IEA), fossil fuel production must fall by 22% on 2019 levels by 2030, and by 44% on 2019 levels by 2035, to limit warming to 1.5°C. Yet, according to the Carbon Tracker Initiative, between the start of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, Chevron, Eni, Shell, TotalEnergies and other major fossil fuel companies approved $166 billion in new oil and gas investments, $58 billion of which will only be required if demand rises to the point where global temperatures exceed 2.5°C.

“As a result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, 2022 has been a bumper year for the oil and gas industry,” the Carbon Tracker Initiative says – claiming that the likes of “ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron are reporting consecutive record quarterly profits.” This, the report says, it creating a “tempting” investment environment for “new developments and exploration”.

Indeed, 62% of the investments recorded between 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 were not aligned with decarbonisation pathways agreed upon in the Paris.

By contrasting major oil and gas companies’ stated decarbonisation goals with the reality of their future production plans, the Carbon Tracker Initiative outlined how the behaviour of investors could change to exclude businesses without meaningful intentions to divest from polluting fuels. [Continue reading…]

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