6 Oil & Gas CEOs Call for a Price on Carbon

The CEOs of six of the world’s largest oil and gas companies issued a joint letter on June 1 calling for governments to put a price on carbon and eventually to connect national pricing systems.

The six – representing BG group, BP, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total – write that a price on carbon would “reduce the uncertainty and help stimulate investments in the right low-carbon technologies and the right resources at the right pace.” They said they would advocate for carbon pricing in meetings with government ministers and business partners throughout the year.  

Their announcement was welcomed as an important step in the right direction by leaders including the heads of the World Bank Group, IETA, and the We Mean Business Coalition.

 “This is precisely the type of business leadership that will encourage governments to create ambitious climate policy,” said We Mean Business CEO Nigel Topping. The We Mean Business Coalition urged the oil and gas companies to also go the next step – commit to large investments in carbon capture and storage technology, end gas flaring, and engage with the public sector in a consistent and transparent manner.

In their letter to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is leading the international climate talks in Paris in December, the CEOs call on governments at the climate talks to:

  • “Introduce carbon pricing systems where they do not yet exist at the national or regional levels, and
  • Create an international framework that could eventually connect national systems.”

 “Our companies are already taking a number of actions to help limit emissions,” the six CEOs write, citing work in energy efficiency, renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, and new low-carbon technologies and business models.

“For us to do more, we need governments across the world to provide us with clear, stable, long-term ambitious policy frameworks," they write. "We believe that a price on carbon should be a key element of these frameworks. If governments act to price carbon, this discourages high carbon options and encourages the most efficient ways of reducing emissions widely."

Photo: Darryll DeCoster, Creative Commons