Make Big Oil Care by Cutting Profits

industry

We’ve heard lots of big claims from oil companies about their commitment to sustainable energy production, but those are all words. Their actions are still to extract fossil fuels which undercut all their efforts to produce renewable energy. The simple reason oil companies are still killing the environment is profit. So to get them to actually live up to their words we need to ensure that oil makes little money. Step one should be to cut market-manipulating subsidies governments give to oil companies.

The best way to hurt oil companies in the meantime is to cut back on your use of gas. Also, remember to vote for politicians that support public transit and clean air.

In terms of electricity generated from clean energy sources, BP has made the most progress of any of the oil companies — but even then, its global renewables capacity only adds up to 2,000 megawatts, the equivalent of about two gas-fired power plants.

Mei Li, a co-author of the report, suggested that the ability to continue profiting from fossil fuels was the chief reason that oil companies haven’t lived up to their climate promises. Wall Street is more likely to reward quarterly profits than moves to overhaul a business over the long-term. “They do not have the incentives to force them to make a clean energy transition,” Li said.

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