Climate Change

Just 5 oil cos spent 251 mn euros in lobbying against climate policies: Report

BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total together made nearly $55 billion in profits in 2018, while pushing the world into climate emergency 

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Friday 25 October 2019
fossil fuel emissions. Photo: Getty Images

Global oil and gas majors BP Plc, Chevron Corpo, Exxon Mobil Corp, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA, along with their lobby groups have spent at least 251 million euros in buying influence at the European Union, since 2010, according to a new research.

Their lobbying prompted the EU and European governments to set inadequate limits on emission and renewable energy targets, while promoting fossil fuels consumptions, subsidising new gas pipelines and coal plants.

As a result, their profits rose but also increased greenhouse gas emissions, which has led to record storms, droughts, and fires, threatening life, health, food of living of milions of people around the world. 

The fossil fuel industry is responsible for more than two-thirds of man-made greenhouse gas emissions,  acording to a study published in the journal Climatic Change.  

The world’s five biggest publicly traded oil and gas companies together made nearly $55 billion in 2018, showed the research commissioned by Corporate Europe Observatory, Food and Water Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, and Greenpeace EU. 

The research is part of a global campaign by 189 civil society organisations who have demanded ‘fossil free politics’.

While the fossil fuel lobbyists have for long “denied the widely accepted science, and tried to delay, weaken, and sabotage climate action”, their policies have heated the world, destroying communities, and has created a climate emergency, said the organisations, in a statement to the decision-makers.

Several world countries ratified the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to limit global heating below 1.5 degrees. “But since it was signed, Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Total and Chevron spent $1 billion on lobbying and advertising undermining this goal,” the organisations claimed.

The report also found that since 2014 the lobbyists held 327 high level meetings with top European Commission officials, which is more than one meeting a week, to influence EU climate and energy decision-making.

The organisations have urged political institutions to champion fossil-free politics by "building a firewall that protects democratic institutions and decision-making from fossil fuel industry interference: no more private lobby meetings, partnerships or collaboration,” the statement read.

“Big oil and big gas are causing death and destruction in exchange for eye-watering profits. But millions of people are calling them out, as they face trial for their role in fuelling the climate emergency and trampling on human rights. It’s time our governments hold them to account,” said Sebastian Mang, climate policy adviser for Greenpeace EU.  

Moreover, as part of the global campaign, more than 300 cross-country parliamentarians have signed the Divest Parliament Pledge. It aims to divest their pension fund from fossil fuels, the media reported.

“It is unacceptable for our political leaders to be investing in fossil fuels at a time of climate breakdown,” read their statement on the Fossil Free UK website.

“Our political leaders are failing us on climate action. But together, we’re pushing our demand for a Fossil Free world to the top of the political agenda — where it firmly belongs,” it added. 

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