Weekly wrap: Oil majors accused of undermining climate laws

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden (Flickr/ Shell)

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden (Flickr/ Shell)

By Ed King

Oil majors claim to be committed to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, but a study out this week says they spent $115 million trying to nix new climate laws.

That’s the finding from London-based NGO Influence Map, which names Exxon-Mobil, Shell and the American Petroleum Institute lobby group as main offenders.

The revelations come at a time when top fossil fuel companies are being pushed by shareholders and top regulators to disclose the risks climate change poses to their business plans.

Panama Papers

The vast data leak from offshore banking specialists Mossack Fonseca has implicated world and business leaders, with more details set to emerge in coming weeks.

Papers examined by Climate Home illustrate how billions of dollars accrued through oil and gas exploration have been stored offshore.

Wealthy and powerful individuals from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Nigeria, Angola and the Republic of Congo are implicated, as Megan Darby reports.

Join Climate Home: We’re hiring a new reporter

Record 130 to sign

The UN seems confident over 60 world leaders and 130 countries will attend the 22 April Paris Agreement signing.

That would break the previous record for the number of countries signing a treaty on one day (119 in 1982 for the UN Law of the Sea, if you’re interested).

This week India, Brazil, China and South Africa confirmed they would sign up after a meeting of the BASIC group in Delhi.

Still, as Nick Chan – a former advisor to small island states at climate talks – argues, it’s ratification of the deal that really matters.

Welcome to the clean revolution: 11 slides that explain all

Shipping + aviation

Omitted from the Paris Agreement, moves are afoot at the UN’s maritime body (IMO) and aviation organisation (ICAO) to develop emissions cutting strategies.

ICAO officials are wrapping up a global tour to outline plans for a market-based mechanism to limit CO2 growth from the sector, but as Alex Pashley reports, NGOs are not happy.

Ahead of an IMO meeting in London later this month, France and Morocco have urged the body to push for shipping to take its “fair share” of GHG cuts. Megan Darby has the story.

Around the world

Coal: IHS analysts predict 2020 price resurgence
France: Tubiana *is* allowed to run for UNFCCC post
Fracking: US investors eye billion-dollar gamble
World Bank: Top funder to boost climate spend 28%
UK: Time for ‘fresh thinking’ on climate says ex-minister
Myanmar: Will Aung San Suu Kyi succumb to coal lure?

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Read more on: UN climate talks