Big Oil claims its doing its part to combat climate change. A new study finds its not even close.

climate change

  • Big oil spent only 1.3% of 2018 capital expenditure on
    green energy
  • European majors are making greater efforts than the US
    oil giants to invest in clean energy
  • Low carbon infrastructure seen as essential to
    combatting climate change

years of claims and commitments
about clean investment and
alleviating climate change, the world’s largest oil companies
have contributed just 1% of their spending
to green energy in 2018. 

Companies like Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and BP, have all
accelerated efforts into renewables and battery technology in
recent years. But many efforts have been overshadowed by the

oil industry’s efforts to block or overturn environmental

CDP, an environmental research charity that works with over 650
major institutional investors with $87 trillion in assets, claim
that the world’s top 24 publicly-listed companies spent just 1.3
percent of total budgets of $260 billion on low carbon energy in

“This 1% figure pales in comparison with the amount of money Big
Oil spends blocking climate initiatives and regulations, and
invests in fossil-fuel projects that have no place in a
well-below 2 degree Celsius world,” Jeanne Martin at campaign
group ShareAction,
told Reuters.

suggests that European oil majors have made greater
strides than their US counterparts, and that 70% of the energy
sector’s renewables capacity came from European oil majors.

“With less domestic pressure to diversify, US companies
have not embraced
renewables in the same way as their
European peers,” CDP said in a report.

Norway’s Equinor leads the way with plans to spend up to 20% of
its budget on renewables by 2030, while European major Total has
spent the most on low-carbon energies, around 4.3% of its budget,
since 2010, according to the study. Shell plans to invest up
to $2 billion each year in renewables and electric vehicles
alongside a pledge in 2017 to
halve the carbon footprint of the energy it sells by

cdp league table

These efforts pale in comparison to the required need for drastic
climate control measures.

An explosive report last month from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change
said “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented
changes in all aspects of society” are required to limit global
warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

The report said: “Global net human-caused emissions of carbon
dioxide would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels
by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050.”

Russian and US firms are investing the least, the study said,
while China’s energy powerhouse PetroChina doesn’t even report