Big oil companies are spending millions to appear ‘green.’ Their investments tell a different story

Big oil companies are spending millions to appear ‘green.’ Their investments tell a different story

A recent analysis suggests that although large oil firms are spending millions to present themselves as combating climate change, their investments and lobbying efforts fall short of their green claims. CNN reports that InfluenceMap has found that the amount of climate-positive messaging by five major oil and gas companies is inconsistent with their spending on low-carbon operations. These gas companies are BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies. The concern comes as scientists have become more strident in their warnings that the world must drastically reduce its usage of fossil fuels to avoid the climate crisis' disastrous consequences.

What are the oil and gas companies doing? 

According to CNN, InfluenceMap determined how much the energy companies planned to invest in green projects in the previous year and discovered that, on average, just 12% of their capital expenditure budgets were allocated to what the companies themselves deemed to be low-carbon or renewable activities. Companies are declaring that the InfluenceMap analysis does not account for investments such as electric vehicle charging, biofuels, and sustainable aviation fuel, which climate scientists say are important in the transition away from fossil fuels.

While scientists urge this transition toward renewable energy, oil and gas companies declare gas as a climate solution. Natural gas emits less carbon dioxide than coal, causing less harm to the environment. However, others still call natural gas a significant contributor to the climate crisis. 

These five major companies are urging policymakers to include fossil fuels in climate policies. Even the United States and other industry associations have been pushing for fossil gas to be considered a green, low-carbon solution. Gas companies are doing what they can to move toward low-carbon solutions as the discussion continues.

In a statement to CNN, a Shell representative claims the company is already investing money in low-carbon energy. Shell plans to reveal the lower-carbon solutions it offers through advertising and social media. The representative noted that the world will still need oil and gas in the years to come.

The intense focus on combating climate change through renewable energy may cost more over time. Offering gas and oil as a low-carbon solution may be a solution to high costs and a reasonable approach to the climate crisis.

Written by: Ariana Solorio, The GCMG Agency, Social Media Coordinator

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