It is no new information that the Oil and Gas companies play a major role in the climate crisis. The number one gas emitted is carbon dioxide while methane is a close second. An updated study reveals that methane emissions from fossil fuels are 25% to 40% more than what was actually estimated before. This means that the oil and natural gas industry is contributing more to the crisis than we thought. Methane has a greenhouse effect that is about 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period and is responsible for at least 25% of global heating. It has been proven that the oil and gas industry is not fully accounting for its impact on the climate. According to ClientEarth, Aramco is responsible for more than 4% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1965.
Oil Companies like Exxon, Aramco and BP have taken it to a whole new level by brainwashing people on their green energy initiatives. The truth is that they are aggressively increasing their activities detrimental to the health of our Earth. While Aramco continues to open new oil and gas fields, Chevron was found to have put only 0.2% and Shell has dedicated only 1% of their long-term investments into low-carbon energy sources.
Exxon Mobil came up with an optimistic campaign about algae biofuel as their next source of green and clean fuel. According to them, they are taking all initiatives to replace oil and fossil fuels with a lower carbon alternative providing cleaner energy by aiming to produce 10,000 barrels of algae-based biofuel a day by 2025. They have the common people supporting them and becoming loyal followers after this campaign. What we didn’t know was that 10,000 barrels a day – while it sounds like a big amount – is only a fraction of the amount of oil Exxon extracts. According to the Climate Reality Project Exxon spends about 0.5% of their revenue on developing renewable energy and increase the production of fossil fuels by 35% by 2030.
BP has been accused of greenwashing by ClientEarth. BP put forth an advertising campaign promoting the oil company’s environmental credentials. They created a misleading impression about moving towards renewable and clean energy while in reality, 96% of their capital investment is on oil and gas. According to ClientEarth climate lawyer Sophie Marjanac, “Meanwhile BP is doubling down on business, as usual, running its biggest ad campaign since the Deepwater Horizon disaster to put up a shiny green facade for the public.” Their scale of campaign was larger than their rivals. They used carefully planned out tactics, and the use of strategic visuals on their website and campaigns to brainwash people when their practices were questioned and under scrutiny.
Shell, along with their counterpart Exxon knew the side effects of drilling for oil and gas since the 1980s. They carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels. An internal report in 1988 at Shell projected that CO2 emission would double the preindustrial levels by 2030 – much before they had originally anticipated it. This would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 2°C and increase the sea levels by 5 to 6 meters – enough to drown all the low-lying areas.
Img Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/sep/19/shell-and-exxons-secret-1980s-climate-change-warnings.
Exxon’s private prediction of the future growth of carbon dioxide levels (left axis) and global temperature relative to 1982 (right axis)
Shell foresaw all the crises that would develop by continuing to drill and use fossil fuels. They kept the report “hidden” until it was leaked. According to ClientEarth “Shell mentions “using lower-carbon energy products to reduce GHG emissions”, but the company’s plans include growing its fossil gas business by 20% in the coming years. Shell is still committed to exploring new sources of oil and gas and does not have any plans to reduce the overall amount of oil and gas” Read more about their greenwashing here.
As consumers, it is our responsibility to be aware of such brainwashing propaganda played out by oil giants. Their general tendency is to divert the minds of the people and continue their harmful practices which are proved detrimental to the future of our Earth. The only way we can be successful is by discovering and using alternative sources of clean and green energy.
At Green Schools Green Future we aim to build a school that is self-sufficient and operates through renewable sources generated locally. We want to build a generation that understands, respects and works in harmony with nature. To know more about our project, click here. To help us reach our goal, click here.
Written By Kritika Rao