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Oil firms could waste trillions if climate targets reached

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Staff Writer | June 21, 2017
Abandoned oil well
Oil exploration   More than $2 trillion of planned investment

Energy giants risk wasting more than a third of their budgets on projects that will not be needed if climate targets are to be met, a thinktank report shows.

More than $2 trillion of planned investment in oil and gas projects by 2025 could be redundant if governments stick to targets to lower carbon emissions to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a report by the Carbon Tracker thinktank and institutional investors.

It compared the carbon intensity of oil and gas projects planned by 69 companies with requirements needed to meet the warming target set by the 2015 Paris agreement, which will require curbing fossil fuel consumption.

It found Exxon, the world's top publicly-traded oil and gas company, risks wasting up to half its budget on new fields that will not be needed.

Shell and France's Total would see up to 40 percent of their budgets misspent.

Top energy companies have voiced support for the Paris agreement reached by nearly 200 countries. Many of them have urged governments to impose a tax on carbon emissions to support cleaner sources of energy such as gas.


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