Big Energy Firms Failing To Tackle Climate Crisis
The biggest energy companies in the UK have failed to support the setting of an emissions reduction target. The plan was to set a legally binding target to reduce the EU’s emissions to net zero by 2050. Centrica (British Gas’s owner), Royal Dutch Shell and BP have all previously voiced support for such a target.
However it has now been revealed that they have withdrawn official support, despite previously publicly backing the plans. An official consultation held recently Brussels proposals for more ambitious EU emissions cuts has exposed the energy giants’ true intentions.
Oil Companies and Lobbyists Undermining Climate Action
The Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, was obviously unhappy at this development and said, “You can’t claim to be playing your part in tackling the climate emergency and then refuse to back the legislation we need to succeed. While Big Oil CEOs proclaim their support for climate action, their rigs are still heading out to drill for more oil and their lobbyists are still busy undermining climate action.”
Greenpeace activists have recently been protesting a BP oil rig located in the Vorlich field in the North Sea.
Centrica’s Anti-Emissions Target Stance Has ‘Evolved’
A Centrica spokesperson has recently claimed that the energy firm’s stance has “evolved” since their original response to the consultation. The spokesperson said, “As a result of new evidence being provided to us, we support the view that a net zero emissions target will be a challenging target to meet, but it is the right thing for the UK and the EU to aim for.”
Greenpeace UK’s Sauven responded by saying, “Centrica’s U-turn in favour of a net zero target shows that at least some companies may have clocked the gravity of the climate emergency we face.”
He added that it is time for BP and the other big energy companies to “follow suit”.
‘Deliberate Disruption’ Required to Hit Zero Carbon Target
UK companies have been warned they face ‘deliberate disruption’ of activities that hinder plans to achieve a net zero-carbon economy. According to a report published by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), many firms face forced ‘fundamental changes’. These include the phasing out of business practices that cause the most pollution.
It is understood that many of the affected companies are not ready for such actions, though many others are. One of UKERC’s Directors, Jim Watson, said, “Some sectors are more ready than others. The electricity sector has already gone through a major change, for example, but other sectors are at the starting point and the Government is going to have to be the disruptor here.”
According to UKERC’s report, the least prepared sectors appear to be those specialising in heating, transport and construction. The UK’s gas networks and North Sea oil companies also face the forced phasing out of pollution-causing practices.
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