Oil and gas companies undermining climate goals, says report

(The Guardian, 6 Sep 2019) Biggest fossil fuel extractors warned they risk wasting $2.2tn ‘in a low-carbon world’.

Major oil and gas companies have invested $50bn (£40.6bn) in fossil fuel projects that undermine global efforts to avert a runaway climate crisis, according to a report.

Since the start of last year, fossil fuel companies have spent billions on high-cost plans to extract oil and gas from tar sands, deepwater fields and the Arctic despite the risks to the climate and shareholder returns.

Carbon Tracker, a financial thinktank, found that ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP each spent at least 30% of their investment in 2018 on projects that are inconsistent with climate targets, and would be “deep out of the money in a low-carbon world”.

Andrew Grant, the author of the report, said: “Every oil major is betting heavily against a 1.5C world and investing in projects that are contrary to the Paris goals.”

The study is the first to analyse individual projects to test whether they are compliant with a 1.5C world, and whether they would be financially sustainable in a low-carbon world.

It found that none of the largest listed oil and gas companies are making investment decisions that are in line with global climate goals, and risk wasting $2.2tn (£1.8tn) by 2030 if governments take a tougher stance on carbon emissions.

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The Guardian, 6 Sep 2019: Oil and gas companies undermining climate goals, says report