A Burning Question: Are Oil & Gas Companies Really Evolving?

Title: A Burning Question: Are Oil & Gas Companies Really Evolving?
Date & Time: Tue, October 6, 2020 at 6:00 PM
Venue: Zoom and/or in-person TBD (details provided after registration)
Pre-registration: Use this link to tell us you’re interested and we’ll let you know when registration opens

It’s an urgent question: Will oil & gas companies transform themselves to align with the Paris Agreement and help prevent the worst impacts of climate change? A few oil & gas majors have recently stated ambitions to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Yet many have not. And the oil & gas industry has also seized the opportunity created by the COVID-19 crisis to lobby for regulatory rollbacks and bailouts.

From the ads we’re seeing on TV and Facebook, you’d think ExxonMobil, Chevron and other oil & gas companies were focused on low-carbon innovation. But what these companies spend on low-carbon businesses is a drop in the oil barrel compared to their continued investments in exploration and infrastructure.

It’s no wonder they are being accused of greenwashing—in fact, ExxonMobil’s ads are the subject of an ongoing consumer fraud complaint by the Massachusetts Attorney General.

Climate conscious shareholders are also demanding that oil & gas companies back up their climate pledges with ambitious near-term action and that they ensure their trade associations  don’t fight the very climate policies they claim to support.

Meanwhile, the costs of climate change are already high and rapidly rising. More than a dozen US communities are suing to hold oil & gas companies accountable for their fair share of the costs of climate damages and preparedness. How does climate liability affect the outlook for these companies?

On October 6th, we’ll hear from leading researchers and advocates to get the latest on fossil energy companies’ actions to transition to new GHG-reducing business models, their past and ongoing climate disinformation and how they could more fully transition to keep us within targets set by the Paris Agreement.

Our lead speaker, Dr. Peter C. Frumhoff, is Director of Science & Policy and Chief Climate Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Peter serves on the Atmospheric Sciences & Climate Board of the National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine and was a lead author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Full bio here. His research and writing on the climate responsibilities of fossil fuel companies includes the UCS “Climate Accountability Scorecard”, which is available here.

Peter will be joined by his colleague at UCS, Kathy Mulvey who will provide the shareholder investment perspective. Kathy also serves as Chair of the Socially Responsible Investing Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

We’ll announce additional speakers and more details about this event as we get closer.

Photo credit: Okq8 se / CC BY-SA via Wiki Commons