As we head into annual meeting season, oil majors are under pressure to respond to investors skeptical of their future profitability under climate constraints, or what the Financial Times terms the industry’s “existential crisis.” That pressure ratcheted up last week when Norway’s government moved to divest the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund from upstream exploration and production companies.
“[T]he market cannot solve climate change by itself. Muscular government action is needed,” writes The Economist in a February cover issue. The cutting edge of climate policy lies in active government intervention to manage the decline of fossil fuels and ramp up renewable energy.
So far, 2019 has brought a major win against the expansion of fossil gas infrastructure in Europe, as well as a major wake-up call to the climate threat – and deep inequity – of the unprecedented ongoing expansion of U.S. oil and gas production.
Twenty-three years ago, Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni Nine were executed by the Nigerian government, with the complicity of Shell. Their fight reminds us of the price so many have paid and continue to pay for defending their land and livelihoods from oil and gas pollution.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s latest report on global warming of 1.5 degrees provides a compelling scientific case for winding down the fossil fuel industry as quickly as possible.
Last week, San Francisco, California was a focal point for debate around this critical question: What does it mean to show leadership in tackling the climate crisis?
With deadly heatwaves and record wildfires hitting communities across the globe, the stakes for shifting off fossil fuels are hitting home for millions of people this month. Resistance to oil and gas expansion is also heating up.
Over the past month, prominent investors have urged both governments and the oil industry to begin planning more seriously for a carbon-free future.
Through the first half of 2018, we’ve seen a growing list of countries take first steps to place limits on fossil fuel production. The world will need more of these ‘first movers’ if we’re going to close the stark gap between current climate pledges and the ambition needed to achieve the Paris goals.
The data is clear: Already operating oil and gas fields and coal mines – those the industry has invested in extracting – contain more fossil fuel than the world can afford to burn if we’re going to stay within the Paris climate limits.