BP Carbon emissions scenarios, 2017. Graphic: ShareAction

By Ben Chapman
27 October 2017

(The Independent) – Oil giants Shell and BP are planning for global temperatures to rise as much as 5°C by the middle of the century. The level is more than double the upper limit committed to by most countries in the world under the Paris Climate Agreement, which both companies publicly support.

The discrepancy demonstrates that the companies are keeping shareholders in the dark about the risks posed to their businesses by climate change, according to two new reports [BP Plc; Royal Dutch Shell Plc] published by investment campaign group ShareAction. Many climate scientists say that a temperature rise of 5°C would be catastrophic for the planet.

ShareAction claims that the companies’ actions put the value of millions of people's pensions at risk. Two years after BP and Shell shareholders voted resoundingly in favour of forcing the companies to make detailed disclosures about climate risks, the companies have made unconvincing steps forward, according to the reports. […]

Both companies assess the resilience of their businesses against climate models in which temperatures warm by between 3°C and 5°C.

A maximum warming of 2°C beyond pre-industrial levels is the central aim of the landmark Paris climate agreement, which both firms say they support. It is widely believed that any warming beyond 2°C could cause serious and potentially irreversible changes to the climate. […]

Michael Chaitow, senior campaigns officer at ShareAction, said the report revealed an “uncomfortable discrepancy” between Shell and BP’s public support for a low-carbon economy and their actual business planning.

“Shell and BP want to have their oil and drink it too, by advocating for the landmark Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to below 2°C degrees, while planning for scenarios that would violate it,” he said. [more]

BP and Shell planning for catastrophic 5°C global warming despite publicly backing Paris climate agreement

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