Left to their own devices, I have no doubt that oil and gas companies would crush every drop of profit from this planet that they could, regardless of the consequences. As reported in The Ferret earlier this week, both Shell and Oil & Gas UK, which represents the interests of offshore oil and gas, have already lobbied Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse to try to steer how the conversation around transitioning to a fossil-free world should take place. According to the lobbying register, Wheelhouse was approached and encouraged to consider the “importance of balanced messaging” in the lead-up to the event. I wonder what oil and gas giants would consider to be “balanced messaging”, given that they have historically invested a staggering amount of time into ignoring and discrediting the threat of climate change itself. ScottishPower has already been selected by the UK Government to be one of the principal corporate partners of COP26. Yet while ScottishPower’s supply of electricity in the UK is now generated by green means, The Ferret has reported that its Spanish parent company Iberdrola has been investing in the gas industry abroad, opening four new gas plants in Mexico since 2019. SCOTTISHPOWER is functionally a green facade for Iberdrola, which can smile and point to its eco credentials in the UK, while contributing massively to climate change elsewhere. It’s a sham, and unfortunately for us all, the consequences of catastrophic climate breakdown don’t magically stop at the border. Oil and gas giants have shown us time and time again that they cannot be trusted to put the climate ahead of their own profit margins. That’s why they should be kept as far away from influencing the conversation on climate change as possible –particularly when COP26 may be our last chance to finalise the Paris Agreement.
The National 15th Feb 2021 read more »