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BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell And Others Declare Joint Action On Climate Change

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Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 22.05.20By: Micheal Kaufman: Oct 16, 2015 

Global warming over the past few years has become a major issue. Companies around the world keep on pumping and burning record levels of conventional fossil fuels. Burning of fossil fuels leads to carbon emissions, which are highly detrimental for the environment. Activists have now have taken a stern hand regarding pollution and are urging companies to adopt safer cleaner fuels. President Barack Obama recently also stressed upon the importance of using alternatives, such as natural gas, which are safer for the environment.

On October 16, CEOs from ten of the world’s largest oil companies said that they were up for an effective climate change agreement that will be reached in the 21st session of the United Nations (UN) Conference of Parties to the UN framework on Climate Change (COP21). The companies participating in the conference include BP plc. (ADR) (NYSE:BP), Royal Dutch Shell plc. (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), Total SA (ADR) and many others. The prime objective of the conference will be to work on ways to maintain global average temperatures at 2 degree centigrade.

As reported in BP’s press release, the 10 CEO’s regarding the issue said that: “Our shared ambition is for a 2°C future. It is a challenge for the whole of society. We are committed to playing our part. Over the coming years we will collectively strengthen our actions and investments to contribute to reducing the GHG intensity of the global energy mix. Our companies will collaborate in a number of areas, with the aim of going beyond the sum of our individual efforts.”

The CEO’s also outlined five areas where they can work and improve on. The companies will start off by streamlining and optimizing their operations, and will work with both manufacturers and consumers in order to achieve this. Secondly the companies will now try to include natural gas as part of their marketing mix.

Thirdly companies will now conduct research and development and try to develop renewable forms of energy such as Solar. Fourthly, companies will now be looking to develop projects in partnership with local and national authorities. These projects will be aimed at providing easy access of energy to people. Finally, these companies will also aim to work collectively and individually in the industry to accelerate climate change solutions.

While the move to transition to alternate forms of energy is a good initiative, pulling it off will be a difficult task indeed. Majority of the companies generate most energy through the burning of conventional fossil fuels. A transition thus would be a major challenge for the oil majors. Moreover, the CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation Rex Tillerson is against such a transition. Mr. Tillerson believes that they should first wait for Science to improve before solving the problem of climate change.


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