The world’s largest listed oil companies will need to cut production by at least 50% over the next decade if the world is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees under the Paris climate agreement, warned the climate think tank Carbon Tracker.
In a new report, the group also says the oil and gas industry “still bets on the success of global efforts to tackle climate change.”
It lists 18 billion dollars (15 billion euros) of investments approved in 2020 in major projects that are not consistent with the limitation of warming to 1.65 degrees.
He also noted that even companies with “net zero” commitments, such as Shell, BP, TotalEnergies, Eni and Equinor, are planning to explore new oil and gas reserves.
In his report, he claims that oil and gas companies have “not realized” the implications of recent International Energy Agency (IEA) findings that no investment in new oil and gas production is needed to meet global climate goals.
He said 20 of the 40 largest listed companies in the world must plan to cut production by 50% or more by the 2030s if a global climate catastrophe is to be avoided.
Assessing the likely drop in production if no other project is sanctioned as recommended by the IEA, Carbon Tracker calculated that US oil company ConocoPhillips faces the biggest drop in production (69%) followed by Chevron ( 52%), Eni (49%), Shell (44%), BP (33%), ExxonMobil (33%) and TotalEnergies (30%).
The report warned investors that if companies continue with their usual investments, they risk wasting more than $ 1 trillion on projects that will not be competitive in a low-carbon world.
“Rapid declines in output could cause a severe shock to corporate valuations, raising the cost of capital and the risk of insolvency,” he said.
The report concluded “that it is crucial for companies to have a solid transition plan, to end their oil and gas activities in an orderly manner and to diversify into low-carbon activities or to return resources. shareholders’ capital ”.
In May, the IEA warned that it would take an abrupt halt to new oil, gas and coal supply projects if the world is to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
At a conference in Dublin, IEA chief Fatih Birol warned that the gap between rhetoric and climate action is widening and global investment in clean tech is set to more than double – to $ 5,000 billion – by 2030 if the world wanted to reach its climate goal.
A separate Carbon Tracker report, also released in May, suggested that if the world’s largest oil and gas companies adopted more ambitious climate targets, they were resistant to outright reductions in their emissions.
He asserted that while many subscribed to the “net zero” goals, most relied on carbon capture and mitigation technologies to achieve their goals – technical solutions that “have not been proven to work to a great extent. scale, ”he said.