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More majors back green moves

The signing up of three top US energy firms gives a boost to an industry-led climate-change initiative

President Donald Trump says it's not happening, but a string of American energy giants beg to differ. After remaining in the shadows for four years, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum have finally committed themselves to fight climate change by joining the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI). A group of energy companies in 2014 came up with the idea of the industry taking a lead and sharing experiences in tackling climate change.

Today, 13 companies around the world have committed to OGCI. Aside from those that joined in late September, the group comprises BP, China's CNPC, Eni, Equinor, Pemex, Petrobras, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell and Total. In all, these companies represent around 30% of global oil and gas production and supply almost 20% of global primary consumption.

The OGCI signatories recognise and support the Paris Agreement on climate change and have each committed $100m to the group's climate investments fund.

An OGCI statement said collaboration among energy companies was aimed at accelerating the "deployment of concrete solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our ambitions increase each year and as we welcome three new member companies we will continue to build momentum and strengthen our collective reach and impact to deliver practical action on climate change."

Vicki Hollub, chief executive of Occidental, said "industry innovation and collaboration have a critical role to play in addressing climate change, and Occidental is excited to join OGCI's efforts to create a lower-emissions world."

Aramco highlights collaboration

Thus far, Saudi Aramco is the only Middle Eastern oil company in OGCI, although Abu Dhabi National Oil Company looks set to join. Amin Nasser, Aramco's chief executive, told Petroleum Economist in 2017 that the company had decided to become involved because the potential of a collaborative effort seemed more fruitful than if it was the company working in isolation. "A lot of collaboration is being done by the 10 companies," he said. "We're pooling the expertise that's within our companies to find solutions to climate issues."

Most of the headlines generated by OGCI have related to the $1bn investment fund. "A lot of people are talking about the $1bn," the Aramco chief executive continued, "but more important than this is the amount of expertise from all of our companies that's coming together. Working through these investments we're extending our technical knowhow and expertise."

President Trump may not be taking climate change seriously, but the actions of the US energy giants shows that the global oil and gas industry certainly is.

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