Ex-BP chief to advise oil giants on climate strategy

Lord Browne-led panel to present fossil fuel industry with plans in November on how it can contribute to UN climate deal

(Pic: BBC Andrew Marr Show/You Tube)

(Pic: BBC Andrew Marr Show/You Tube)

By Ed King

BP’s former chief executive Lord Browne and ex-Shell chair Mark Moody-Stuart are to advise fossil fuel giants how they can contribute to a planned UN climate deal later this year.

The pair are on a panel of experts drawn from government, industry and science and convened by Critical Resource, a London-based industry advisory group.

They are to guide an investigation into how oil, gas and coal companies can show leadership in developing a pathway towards net-zero emissions by 2100.

“The initiative is a quest for ‘big ideas’ on how the industry can transform itself to operate profitably in carbon-constrained world,” Critical Resource say in a statement.

“It will be grounded in an understanding of business realities and the world’s growing need for affordable energy – and also a recognition of the urgency of catalysing significant industry action on climate change.”

Report: Shell starts Arctic oil drilling amid risk warnings

Other panellists include Michael Zammit Cutajar, who founded the UN’s climate body in 1992, ex-EU climate chief Connie Hedegaard and UK energy expert professor Jim Skea.

The project’s findings will be presented ahead of this year’s Paris conference, where nearly 200 countries are primed to agree plans to limit warming to below 2C above pre industrial levels.

Its recommendations will set the basis for the industry transformation which may be needed if an ambitious deal is signed off in Paris said Henry Hall, a senior associate at Critical Resource.

“We are looking to encourage firms to take leadership,” he told RTCC.

A coalition of six European oil and gas companies including Shell, BP and Total are set to outline new carbon cutting measures next month, the result of an ongoing dialogue with the UN.

Many oil majors are scaling back investments due to low oil prices, but despite warnings that emissions need to be radically cut, few plan to abandon the hunt for fossil fuels.

Shell is facing intense criticism due to this summer’s move to explore the Arctic for oil, a move Lord Brown told the BBC was “risky”.

“I’m not chairman of Shell. But I think [Arctic drilling] is very expensive and I would always go for hydrocarbons which have less cost and effort involved,” he said.

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