In a desperate bid to remain relevant in a world on the clean energy transition, the world’s largest polluters are peddling misleading fossil fuel demand scenarios, according to a new report from Carbon Tracker.
The world’s largest polluters are facing a hit to their political clout with the upcoming UN climate meeting in Paris this December looking to be an historic turning point for a fossil-free future.
Now new analysis shows that rapid advances in technology, increasingly cheap renewable energy, slower economic growth and lower than expected population rise could all dampen fossil fuel demand significantly by 2040.
Carbon Tracker’s head of research, James Leaton said
We have seen in recent weeks how the fossil fuel sector has misled consumers and investors about emissions — the Volkswagen scandal being a case in point — and deliberately acted against climate science for decades, judging from the recent Exxon expose. Why should investors accept their claims about future coal and oil demand when they clearly don’t stack up with technology and policy developments?
Fossil companies have put on a dog and pony show recently about being part of the solution to climate change, but a report from InfluenceMap shows they have no real intention to walk the talk towards one.
Such firms are no doubt happy to have their brands associated with climate action through sponsorship of the Paris climate talks, but there is a growing awareness that corporate influence is undermining climate policy progress, and Corporate Accountability International is calling for fossils to be kicked out of the UN climate negotiations.
Corporate Accountability International’s Jesse Bragg said:
Around the globe people are calling for action now. We don’t have time to waste; governments must act now. There are too many lives at risk today to leave tomorrow up to the climate offenders that are driving the problem.
The group warns that since fossil fuel firms’ business relies on selling a product that wrecks the global climate, there is little reason to believe they would be interested in protecting that climate instead.
Big polluters are the problem, and should not be at the table when leaders agree the way forward towards a solution this December.
Fortunes are fading as divestment shines light on stranded assets to be, more coal plants are being cancelled than built, and a perfect storm of market volatility, decline, and concerns about climate change, the environment and health is preparing to break.
Governments are following suit, with the US, France and the UK leading the G7 charge away from coal, (though Japan, the worst, continues to drag everyone down), and generally coal utilities are dropping like sooty canaries.
Programme Leader at E3G,Chris Littlecott said
Japan finds itself isolated in clinging to coal, while its G7 peers are all moving towards a phase out. There is a clear structural shift away from coal underway across the G7, with the dominant trend being the cancellation of proposed projects and the retirement of existing coal power plants. The UK, Canada and Italy all have a great opportunity to accelerate the closure of existing coal capacity over the coming years […] these G7 countries can drive political momentum for the broader transition away from coal.
As the gap between the firm’s’ branding, behaviour, and the damage they cause ever clearer, their logos may be on the COP21 pavilions, but the writing is certainly on the wall for fossils.