Bloomberg: “Most oil, gas and coal producers, and the power companies that burn the fuels, have remained silent. Responses from those choosing to raise their head above the parapet range from the defensive to calling on governments to take the lead on a transition to a future of cleaner energy”
Accountable.US: “Big Oil might publicly claim to support climate action, but the industry’s refusal to make any meaningful changes demonstrates otherwise. It’s all empty rhetoric and false promises”
Washington, D.C. — This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report outlining the small window that remains to address climate change before it is too late. As expected, Big Oil has downplayed its role in perpetuating the climate crisis following the report, with reactions ranging from silence to denial to going on the defensive, Bloomberg reports.
“Big Oil might publicly claim to support climate action, but the industry’s refusal to make any meaningful changes demonstrates otherwise. It’s all empty rhetoric and false promises,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The truth is that Big Oil CEOs care more about their 8-figure salaries and their influence in Washington than they do about a livable planet for future generations. We cannot allow the greed of a handful of CEOs stand in the way of taking the bold and necessary steps to address climate change.”
In classic Big Oil fashion, the industry deflected any responsibility for its role in creating and speeding up the climate crisis in an argument Bloomberg describes as “well-rehearsed” and lacking in urgency. Big Oil’s response instead patted itself on the back for the work that has been done to reduce carbon emissions and improving air quality, emphasizing the need for “carbon-capture” to “rein in emissions,” although the industry’s actual support of that concept is vague and lacks scientific evidence.
Instead of working with the Biden administration on implementing a mainstream, commonsense approach to address the climate crisis, Big Oil has both fear mongered and downplayed the impact of his plans. The American Enterprise Institute, a Big Oil-backed far-right think tank, has been one of the biggest opponents to Biden’s 30 by 30 plan, a policy that aims to protect 30% of public lands and waters by 2030, calling it a “rhyming fiat,” and pushing for renewables to be developed “gradually.” Further, instead of working with the Biden administration’s qualified scientists and climate experts, Big Oil has been proposing its own ‘solutions’ that still rely on fossil fuels, ignoring the associated health and environmental risks.
Oil giants have spent decades pushing climate disinformation in an attempt to make climate change a “non-issue,” from funding studies, running campaigns, and even testifying before Congress to sow doubts about the link between fossil fuels and climate change, which has been debunked time and again. In fact, Exxon, BP, Chevron, Shell, The American Petroleum Institute, and other oil giants have been sued in five states and over a dozen municipalities for intentionally misleading the public on climate change, an act that the IPCC report determined to have “delayed necessary action to fight climate change.”
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