Study: Here’s what oil giants need to do to avoid climate catastrophe

This
story
was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced
here as part of the Climate
Desk
collaboration.

The world’s largest oil and gas companies need to slash their
production by more than a third by 2040 to meet global climate
targets, according to a new report.

The seven listed oil majors — including ExxonMobil, BP, and
Shell — would need to cut the total amount of oil and gas they
produce every day by 35 percent to avoid driving temperatures 1.5
degrees C higher than pre-industrialized levels.

Global governments would also need to stop issuing new oil and
gas licenses for fossil fuel exploration, according to the
report.

The study
was produced by Carbon Tracker, a financial think tank, using
publicly available oil company data to measure their carbon
footprints today and by 2040.

It showed that global oil projects that have already been
approved are almost enough to meet demand in a 1.6 degrees C
scenario and there is “very little headroom for new fossil fuel
projects.”

Mike Coffin, an analyst at Carbon Tracker, said: “The industry
is
trying to have its cake and eat it
— reassuring shareholders
and appearing supportive of Paris, while still producing more
fossil fuels.

“If companies and governments attempt to develop all their oil
and gas reserves, either the world will miss its climate targets or
assets will become ‘stranded’ in the energy transition, or
both. This analysis shows that if companies really want to both
mitigate financial risk and be part of the climate solution, they
must shrink production.”

U.S. supermajors ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company,
and ConocoPhillips would need to make the most ambitious oil and
gas cuts to fall in line with global climate targets.

But European oil firms such as Shell and BP, considered the
greenest of the world’s major oil companies, would also need to
make a step-change in their business models to avoid contributing
to a climate catastrophe.

The report found that all major oil companies would need to cut
their fossil fuel production below 2019 levels by 2040:

  • Shell would still need to cut its fossil fuel production by 10
    percent
  • BP would require cuts of 25 percent
  • French oil major Total and U.S. major Chevron would both
    require cuts of 35 percent
  • Italy’s oil major Eni would require cuts of 40 percent
  • U.S. oil major ExxonMobil would need cuts of 55 percent
  • And ConocoPhillips would face the biggest production cuts of 85
    percent

An investigation
by the Guardian
earlier this month revealed that many companies
are planning
to increase their fossil fuel output by more than a third

rather than cut their oil and gas production by a similar
amount.

It revealed that Shell and ExxonMobil will be among the leaders
in the expected fossil fuel harvest with a projected output
increase of more than 35 percent between 2018 and 2030.

The increase is a sharper rise than over the previous 12 years,
despite growing calls from activist investors and green groups that
the next decade will be crucial in keeping a cap on rising global
temperatures.

Shell has said it does not disclose future production plans but
it was on course to sustain output to meet demand, which requires
continued investment.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline
Study: Here’s what oil giants need to do to avoid climate
catastrophe
on Nov 2, 2019.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
Study: Here’s what oil giants need to do to avoid climate catastrophe