Despite what they say in public, oil giants are continuing to block vital climate targets

Oil rigs and tankers
Fréa Lockley

Global oil giants, including Shell and BP, won’t back urgent EU plans to tackle climate breakdown. Despite claiming to back Paris Agreement plans to reduce carbon emissions, oil multinationals dodged key questions ahead of an EU summit. This will propose a plan for an “EU-wide target of net zero emissions by 2050”. This vital step is urgently needed to limit climate catastrophe.

Carbon zero

On 20 June, ahead of a vital European Council meeting, Unearthed reported that BP and Shell “declined” to back plans to eliminate emissions over the next 30 years. It noted:

The European Commission says the proposal, which would set an EU-wide target of net zero emissions by 2050, is needed if global warming is to be limited to 1.5 °C in line with the Paris climate change accord.

The impact of climate breakdown is becoming increasingly visible. So far, 2019 has already witnessed extreme weather such as the devastating cyclone Idai, regarded as one of the deadliest storms on record in the southern hemisphere. Around the world, biodiversity is under alarming threat, and carbon dioxide levels have reached historic highs.
As sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg told the UN in 2018: “We have run out of excuses, and we are running out of time”. This EU target may be ambitious, but it’s vital to protect our planet for future generations. We must take action against these major oil companies to insist they protect the planet over their profits.

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