- 10 of the largest oil and gas companies in the world have announced a new, 10-year, $1 billion effort to reduce emissions, largely focused on carbon capture and storage technologies, according to Climate Central.
- The companies say addressing methane emissions from the natural gas sector is essential to the future of their industry, and intend to focus on industrial efficiency, scrubbing and storage.
- But several environmental groups have scoffed at the commitment, with some pointing out that the one-year commitment by BP is less than the compensation of its CEO.
The largest oil and gas producers in the world have seen what happened in the coal industry, and understand they need to make changes in order to maintain viability. But exactly how far they should extend their efforts has been a quibbling point with environmental interests.
The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative announced last week that it would commit $1 billion over the next decade, including a focus on "accelerating the deployment of carbon capture, use and storage." The group said it is looking at solutions to issues like high capital and operating costs, a lack of consistent policy support for carbon capture, and uncertainty around world storage capacity.
The group includes Total, BP, Repsol, Statoil, Pemex and Reliance Industries.
According to Climate Central, BP CEO Bob Dudley said at a press conference announcing the fund that "if we can reduce and build the technologies to monitor and reduce fugitive methane emissions that's like an essential license for us to be able to advocate natural gas."
But environmentalists have been unimpressed, as The Telegraph points out. Greenpeace has noted that BP's share of one-year's funding would be $10 million, lower than Dudley's 2015 pay package of about $17 million. Greenpeace UK climate advisor Charlie Kronick called the investment commitment a “pathetic offering” and said the amount “even fails as an effective example of PR spin."
The Big Oil companies timed their announcement with the Paris climate accord coming into effect. Almost 200 nations have pledged to keep the impact of climate change below 2 degrees Celsius. For the United States, that would mean cutting emissions 26% by 2025.