BP and Shell declined to back a plan to reduce European greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, Unearthed can reveal
The European Commission says the proposal, which would set an EU-wide target of net zero emissions by 2050, is needed if global warming is to be limited to 1.5 °C in line with the Paris climate change accord.
Prime Minister Theresa May will attend a meeting of the European Council starting later today at which leaders are expected to vote on the new target.
The move follows last year’s major report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned that failure to limit warming to 1.5 °C would significantly worsen the risk of drought, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.
Some of the world’s largest oil companies, including BP and Shell, the Italian major Eni and Spanish company Repsol, have withheld support for the proposal to increase the EU’s target, despite previously stating their backing for the Paris climate agreement.
The EU’s present emissions target for 2050 is a reduction of 80-95%.
In their responses to the European Commission’s consultation on its proposal, BP, Shell and Repsol did not answer the key question on whether the EU’s 2050 target should be kept the same, or be increased to achieve net zero.
When contacted by Unearthed, Shell said that the company supported a net zero goal but would not give a date by which this should happen.
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