Big Oil Pivots Away From Clean Energy And Minnesota Proves Elections Matter
Here's what happened last week.
In the last few years, many of the largest fossil fuel companies have told the public, investors, and lawmakers they are committed to addressing climate change. BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil all announced plans to go net-zero and invest in low-carbon technologies.
Last week, these companies all walked back their plans.
In their latest earnings call, Shell told investors that they plan to slow their investment in renewable energy this year. The company instead plans to invest heavily in natural gas, a fossil fuel that produces planet-warming pollution.
Here’s what their CEO, Wael Sawan, told Bloomberg Green:
“Our philosophy has been a real pivot toward energy transition investments,” Sawan said. “But we will make sure that those investments go into the areas where we can see line of sight toward attractive returns to be able to reward our shareholders.”
In other words, Shell thinks they can make more money selling fossil fuels than they can building renewables.
The next day, BP announced that it would use its record profits from last year to expand its investment in fossil fuels. The company plans to spend $8 billion more on oil and gas exploration and production than previously anticipated.
BP also plans to water down its climate targets. Previously the company had planned to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 35-40% by 2030. Last week, the company announced that it now plans to target a 20-30% decrease in emissions.
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