Oil and gas companies announce plans to reduce emissions

May 14, 2020

hands holding Earth 

As the climate crisis continues to be an urgent issue for our global community, Mercy Investment Services and fellow concerned investors remain committed to pressing companies with the greatest ability to impact positive change. In the past year, several oil and gas companies announced ambitious plans to reduce emissions and align their capital spending and business activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose recent report found that emissions need to reach net zero by mid-century to limit global temperatures to an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

  • March 2019: Royal Dutch Shell set a net carbon footprint ambition for mid-century that includes the emissions of the company’s own operations and electricity purchases (scopes 1 and 2) and the emissions of the company’s products as used by consumers (scope 3).

  • December 2019: Repsol announced that it aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 “directing all of its activities and investments to meeting new and more stringent plans all in alignment with . . . the Paris Agreement’s climate goals.”

  • January 2020: Equinor pledged to cut the offshore and onshore emissions of its operations in Norway to near zero by 2050 including scope 1 and 2 emissions of carbon dioxide and methane: “The first phase of the plan to reduce emissions by 2030 means more than 5 million tonnes in annual reductions, representing around 10% of total annual Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions today.”

  • February 2020: BP announced plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 by eliminating or offsetting all scope 1 and 2 emissions as well as all scope 3 emissions generated by consumers from oil and gas produced by BP (the pledge does not include scope 3 emissions from oil and gas purchased by BP from other sources for use in its refining and petrochemical operations).

  • May 2020: French oil and energy company Total announced a new target of net-zero emissions for its global operations by 2050 (scope 1 and 2 emissions), and net-zero on all operations and energy products (scope 3 emissions) in Europe by 2050 or sooner.

Other oil and gas companies are setting ambitious targets to reduce their  methane and carbon dioxide emissions:

  • In October 2019, Chevron announced new goals to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity from its upstream oil and natural gas operations between 2016 and 2023 to align with the stocktake process of the Paris Agreement. The company intends to lower upstream oil net GHG emission intensity by 5 - 10 percent and upstream natural gas net GHG emission intensity by 2 – 5 percent.

  • ConocoPhillips has set a long-term target to reduce its scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions intensity by 5 to 15% by 2030, from a January 1, 2017, baseline.

Addressing climate change – the greatest moral imperative of our time – remains a high priority for Mercy Investment Services. You can read our Statement on Climate Change here. Continued engagements with these and companies across sectors will address how they can reduce their impacts on our environment and help achieve the Paris Climate Agreement goals.