Coalition of world’s top oil companies set joint carbon reduction target

The 12 members of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) have for the first time set a joint goal to cut their greenhouse gas emissions as a proportion of output, amid growing pressure on the sector’s climate stance.

OGCI members, including Saudi Aramco, China’s CNPC and ExxonMobil, agreed to reduce the average carbon intensity of their aggregated upstream oil and gas operations to between 20 kg and 21 kg of CO2 equivalent per barrel of oil equivalent (CO2e/boe) by 2025.

This target would be down from a collective baseline of 23 kg CO2e/boe in 2017, the OGCI said in a statement. However, absolute emissions could still rise as production increases under the plan.

“It is a significant milestone, it is not the end of the work, it is a near term target … and we’ll keep calibrating as we go forward,” OGCI Chairman and former BP CEO Bob Dudley told Reuters.

Environmental thinktank Carbon Tracker rejected the OGCI’s claim that the targets were in line with the 2015 UN-backed Paris agreement to limit global warming to well below two degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“Having some targets to reduce carbon pollution is better than none,” said Carbon Tracker’s head of oil, gas and coal Andrew Grant. “But “the industry can never consider itself ‘aligned’ with the Paris goals when business plans assume steady investment in fossil fuel production on a planet with absolute limits.”