The chief financial officer of the oil and gas company BP, Murray Auchincloss, told investors recently that it is possible that the company is making more cash than they know what to do with. They make most of this dirty money with petrochemical products which are considered one of the main drivers of greenhouse gas emission, global heating, and climate crisis. Politicians do nothing about this cynical approach that could destroy the world for future generations.
BP plans to invest about $4B in renewable energy by 2025, but its overall capital investment will be more than $80B, most of which is likely to go into new products that will raise greenhouse gas emissions. Allegedly, BP has spent about $3.2bn on clean energy since 2016 and $84bn on oil and gas exploration and development over the same period. Shell plans a near-term investment of about $2bn-$3bn in low-carbon activities while spending at least $8bn on upstream fossil fuel production.
Chris Venables of the Green Alliance think tank said: “The time for oil and gas companies to have invested in the clean energy transition was two decades ago – when they were peddling climate change denialism. If they were serious about renewable energy, they would be doing it right now, but instead, their investments are largely going to new oil and gas.”
Richard Black, a senior associate at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit thinktank, said: “The key point about oil and gas majors arguing that higher profits are needed to invest in greening their operations is: prove it. If they argue that is why high profits are justified, they should pledge publicly that a sizable proportion will be invested in proven technologies like wind, solar, and storage, rather than blue hydrogen or carbon capture and storage, which are either of unproven potential or several years off.”
Politicians should take action to make sure that this dirty money or at least a large part of it will be invested into green and sustainable technologies.