Six top European E&P companies, including TOTAL, BP, ENI, Shell, Statoil and BG, have jointly called on governments around the world and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to introduce carbon pricing systems “and create clear, stable, ambitious policy frameworks that could eventually connect national systems”.
These, they say,“would reduce uncertainty and encourage the most cost effective ways of reducing carbon emissions widely”.
The six companies set out their position in a joint letter from their chief executives to the UNFCCC Executive Secretary and the President of the COP21. This comes ahead of the UNFCCC’s COP21 climate meetings in Paris this December. “With this unprecedented joint initiative, the companies recognize both the importance of the climate challenge and the importance of energy to human life and well-being. They acknowledge the current trend of greenhouse gas emissions is in excess of what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says is needed to limit global temperature rise to no more than two degrees Centigrade, and say they are ready to contribute solutions”.
As the chief executives write:
“Our industry faces a challenge: we need to meet greater energy demand with less CO2. We are ready to meet that challenge and we are prepared to play our part. We firmly believe that carbon pricing will discourage high carbon options and reduce uncertainty that will help stimulate investments in the right low carbon technologies and the right resources at the right pace. We now need governments around the world to provide us with this framework and we believe our presence at the table will be helpful in designing an approach that will be both practical and deliverable.” (Helge Lund, BG Group Plc; Bob Dudley, BP plc; Claudio Descalzi, EniS.p.A.; Ben van Beurden, Royal Dutch Shell plc; EldarSætre, Statoil ASA; Patrick Pouyanné, TOTAL S.A.).
The chief executives call on governments, including at the UNFCCC negotiations in Paris and beyond – to:
• introduce carbon pricing systems where they do not yet exist at the national or regional levels
• create an international framework that could eventually connect national systems.
“To support progress towards these outcomes, our companies would like to open direct dialogue with the UN and willing governments. We have important areas of interest in and contributions to make to creating and implementing a workable approach to carbon pricing, including:
“1. Experience. For more than a century we have provided energy to the world. We are global in reach, closely familiar with managing major projects and risks of many kinds, and well-versed in trading and logistics. As we are already users of carbon pricing systems across the world, exchange of information at international scale could help to identify the best solutions.
2. Motivation. We want to be a part of the solution and deliver energy to society sustainably for many decades to come. Like our counterparts in other industry sectors we will play a key role in implementing the measures and deploying the technologies that will lead to a lower carbon future. Low carbon business models and solutions are fragile until they reach critical size, but with linked carbon pricing systems worldwide, uncertainty would be reduced and such solutions will start to create value for business more rapidly.
3. Pragmatism. We believe our presence at the table could be helpful in designing an approach to carbon pricing that would be both practical and deliverable, as well as ambitious, efficient and effective.”