Just two oil and gas majors aligned with government emission targets

Of the world’s 10 largest publicly listed oil and gas companies, just two have long-term emission reduction targets compatible with government pledges set under the Paris Agreement.


That is the headline finding of a new groundbreaking study, which reveals that Shell and Total are the only two with ambitions that would result in a “large reduction in their carbon emissions intensity”.

Five of the other eight companies do not report any long-term emission reduction targets at all, while three have only set goals covering operational emissions – far below what is needed to meet the Paris pledges.

The research from the $10.7trn (£8.2trn) investor-backed Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) also reveals that none of the companies have ambitions to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“We want to see evidence of a company’s commitment to the transition to a low-carbon economy, and this latest research is not comfortable reading,” TPI co-chair, Adam Matthews, said.

“Forward looking lifecycle emission targets that take account of all the impact of a company’s carbon footprint are essential if we, as investors, are going to have confidence in the strategy of companies we invest in.”

The research involved analysis of the top 10 oil and gas majors’ corporate public disclosures, with a focus on scope 3 emissions that derive from burning products for electricity, industry and transport.

Although Shell and Total have targets that align with governments’ nationally determined contributions, none of the companies have proposed the emission cuts needed to keep global warming below 2˚C.

Chevron, EOG Resources, Exxon Mobil, Occidental and Reliance Petroleum, are the five firms with no disclosed emission reduction targets at all, while Eni, BP and ConocoPhillips’ goals only cover operational emissions.

“Judging carbon performance just on emissions from direct operations only tells part of the story,” TPI chief advisor, Dr Rory Sullivan, said. “In this paper, we have set out a series of expectations that should inform investors and others engaging with these companies.” 


Image credit | iStock

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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