Fossil Fuel Companies Want International Climate Agreement
While the media still gives plenty of voice to climate denial or uncertainty (we aren’t scientists so how can we be certain?), and many politicians remain held captive by the irrational dogma of their constituents, large sectors of the world appear to agree we need to address the inevitable challenges of climate change.
But, even some of the most intractable defenders of the fossil fuel economy are beginning to see that failing to adopt a clear plan of action on climate change will in the long run put their businesses and investments at risk.
Fourteen major Fortune 500 companies including BP, Shell, Rio Tinto and Alcoa are now part of a major coalition supporting an international climate agreement. These are companies with “skin in the game”, because they either are major emitters, or their products are. They voiced their support for a strong global agreement on climate change in a joint statement released October 14:
We recognize the rising environmental, social, economic, and security risks posed by climate change, and that delaying action will result in greater risks and costs. An effective response to climate change requires strong government leadership, and presents both enormous challenges and significant economic opportunities for the private sector. As businesses concerned about the well-being of our investors, our customers, our communities and our planet, we are committed to working on our own and in partnership with governments to mobilize the technology, investment and innovation needed to transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy.
Companies even identify how they see a climate agreement in Paris could strengthen the role of, and minimize risks to, the private sector, through decarbonizing the global economy; requiring countries to be transparent about their policies; requiring all the world’s major economies to be part of the agreement in order to ensure global compatibility; and facilitating the growth of a global carbon market.
With combined revenues of $1.1 trillion and over 1.5 million employees, the coalition knows that global policy will be formulated with or without them. Obviously, these companies want to be at the table to protect their interests, but – they finally seeing that the time for climate denial is over.