‘All Rhetoric and No Action’: Oil Giants Spent $1 Billion on Climate Lobbying and Ads Since Paris Pact, Says Report

climate policy grades for five major oil companies

A new report by a British think tank estimates that since the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world’s five largest listed oil and gas companies spent more than $1 billion lobbying to prevent climate change regulations while also running public relations campaigns aimed at maintaining public support for climate action.

Combined, the companies spend roughly $200 million a year pushing to delay or alter climate and energy rules, particularly in the U.S. — while spending $195 million a year “on branding campaigns that suggest they support an ambitious climate agenda,” according to InfluenceMap, a UK-based non-profit that researches how corporations influence climate policy.

InfluenceMap cites as an example ExxonMobil’s heavily-touted algae-biofuels research, which the oil giant says “offers some of the greatest promise for next-generation biofuels” with significant climate benefits and has made it the focus of its “The Tiny Organism” ad campaign.

InfluenceMap notes that “detailed disclosures from the company show its goal of 10,000 barrels of bio-fuel a day would equate to only 0.2 percent of its current refinery capacity.”

Oil majors are projecting themselves as key players in the energy transition while lobbying to delay, weaken, or oppose meaningful climate policy,” Edward Collins, author of the new report, said in a statement. “They advocate gradual implementation of market-based and technological climate solutions, but the latest [United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report makes clear that urgent policy action and limitations on fossil fuel use are needed to avoid dangerous climate change.” MORE

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