Energy bosses call for carbon pricing system



Chiefs of global energy companies including BP, Shell, Total and Eni have called on world leaders to recognise the role natural gas can play in a low-carbon economy and urged to adopt a carbon pricing scheme in all countries ahead of UN talks in Paris.

In a letter published on the Financial Times, the bosses of six major energy firms have said, “As a group of business people, we are united in our concern about the challenge — and the threat — posed by climate change. We urge governments to take decisive action at December’s UN summit.

“We are also united in believing such action should recognise the vital roles of natural gas and carbon pricing in helping to meet the world’s demand for energy more sustainably.”

Signatories include BP’s Bob Dudley, Shell boss Ben van Beurden and chief of Eni Claudio Descalzi.

The letter also stresses that natural gas already is a “flexible partner” of  renewable energy in reducing carbon emissions and that it can help deliver energy that is cleaner than oil and coal. But the signatories also make clear that they do not want a ‘special treatment’ for certain energy sources.

Our request to policy makers as they prepare for the UN talks is not to ask for special treatment for any resource, including natural gas, or any single route to a lower-carbon future. It is rather to ensure that the outcome of these talks leads to widespread carbon pricing in all countries”, the letter states.

Commenting on the letter, Mark Kenber, CEO of the Climate Group, said, “This is a symbolic moment, and demonstrates an important if not universal shift. It reflects a growing realisation within influential sectors of the fossil fuel industry of a need to adapt to both market and climate realities.

Last week, the World Energy Council (WEC), representing the world’s major energy firms, called for new and clearer climate targets to boost low-carbon investment.


Photo: Martin Nikolaj Bech via flickr

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Further reading:

Energy industry calls for new climate targets

UN’s Ban Ki-moon: we must act on climate change now

Pope Francis set to issue call to action on climate change

Study: climate action can add 1m jobs by 2030 across EU, US and China

IEA: low-carbon technology spending needs to triple to meet climate goals


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