Major oil and gas companies such as Shell, BP, Equinor and Total are not aligned with the Paris climate agreement and are in fact undermining the fight against the climate crisis with investments worth $50bn in fossil fuel projects, new research alleged.
"ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, Total, Eni and ConocoPhillips, with Equinor, each spent at least 30% of their investment in 2018 on projects that are inconsistent with a 1.6˚C world", wrote Carbon Tracker.
Big Oil companies are betting $50 billion on oil and gas projects that would be unviable in a low-carbon world, Carbon Tracker has warned, noting that the approval of these projects suggests the industry is still firmly on a path that diverges from the Paris Agreement goals. The US oil major is followed by Shell (70%), Total (67%), Chevron (60%), BP (57%) and Eni (55%).
The projects highlighted include ExxonMobil's US$2.6 billion (AU$2.82) Aspen project in Canada - the first greenfield oil sands project in five years - which would require an oil price of over $80 per barrel to deliver a 15% return.
Carbon Tracker's latest report concludes that, if we are to meet the IEA's 1.6˚C scenario, oil and gas companies must "slash investment" - even projects with "significant Carbon Capture and Storage technology" - and with projects that satisfy demand for oil at below $40 per barrel.
While the transition away from carbon-heavy technologies, services and products is underway, the sector's 24 largest publicly listed firms spend just 1.3% of their combined capital expenditure (CAPEX) into low-carbon technologies and projects between January and October 2018, according to CDP.
It reports that without the deployment of CCS, sanctioned projects already exceed the demand for oil allowed under the 1.5˚C stretch target set at Paris.
"We agree that the world is not moving fast enough to tackle climate change", a spokesperson for Shell told The Guardian.
"Investors should challenge companies' spending on new fossil fuel production".
The report also concluded that oil and gas companies risk "wasting" $2.2 trillion by 2030 on new projects if governments apply stricter curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. "As the energy system evolves, so is our business".
The group also pointed to Shell's $13 billion liquefied natural gas project also in Canada, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Equinor's $4.3 billion ACG deepwater oil project located in Azerbaijan and BP, ExxonMobil, Total and Equinor's $1.3 billion Zinia 2 deepwater oil project in Angola.
Earlier this week, green groups criticised the UK's offshore oil and gas industry's blueprint to contribute to net-zero emissions by 2035, claiming that the accompanying evidence fails to "leave fossil fuels in the ground".
None of the major oil and gas companies are investing to support the goals laid out in the Paris accord.
The CCC is the independent statutory adviser to the UK Government on its climate targets and carbon policy, created under the Climate Change Act.
OGUK says that gas turbines used to generate power offshore are the largest source of emissions so present big opportunities for savings, along with flaring and venting of waste gas.
A major United Nations report a year ago concluded that global Carbon dioxide emissions must reach "net zero" by 2050 to cap temperature rise at 1.5C. However, the demand for said production is in line with a world where global warming is limited to 2.7C rather than a 1.6C pathway that has been outlined by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said its roadmap demonstrates industry has a credible plan for the future. "We are ready to work with others in developing some of the new solutions the United Kingdom needs, and the Net Zero Solutions Centre is a great example of this".