Big Oil to Invest $1b in Carbon-Capture Technology

The companies last year backed plans to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases.
The companies last year backed plans to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases.

Some of the world’s biggest oil companies will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to develop technologies to capture and store emissions of greenhouse gases and improve energy efficiency.

The investment, announced in a joint statement on Friday from 10 companies including Saudi Arabian Oil Co., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA, BP Plc, Eni SpA, Statoil ASA and Repsol SA, aims to deploy low-carbon technologies on a large scale, Bloomberg reported.

Those energy producers, which together plan more than $90 billion of capital expenditure this year, are part of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which is seeking ways the industry can support a global deal to tackle climate change while continuing to produce their hydrocarbon reserves.

“The creation of OGCI Climate Investments shows our collective determination to deliver technology on a large scale that will create a step change to help tackle the climate challenge,” according to the statement. “By working with others our companies play a key role in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases.”

The investment comes as last year’s Paris climate accord enters into force, and three days before delegates from almost 200 countries gather in Marrakesh, Morocco for the latest round of talks to flesh out the deal.

The companies, which together account for about a fifth of the world’s oil and gas output, last year backed policies consistent with limiting the increase in average global temperatures to within 2 degrees Celsius.

“It is encouraging that the 10 companies have seen the need to act on the day the Paris Agreement comes into force, but they are committing just $10 million a year each for ten years,” said Jeremy Leggett, chairman of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, founder of Solar Century Holdings and author of four books on climate change and energy.

“Given that the world has to mobilize trillions of dollars a year for clean energy within that timeframe if the Paris goal is to be realized, this is quite simply nowhere near good enough.”

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