Climate Accountability Scorecard: Assessment finds 8 major fossil fuel companies fail to adequately plan for low-carbon world

Climate Accountability

"Fossil fuel companies are facing increasing shareholder, legal and political pressure to stop spreading climate disinformation and to fix their business plans to achieve dramatic reductions in global warming emissions. While some companies are responding to this pressure, overall their efforts remain insufficient to prevent the worst impacts of climate change."

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited 8 fossil fuel companies mentioned in the Union of Concerned Scientists' 2018 Scorecard to respond - the following 4 companies responded:

  • BP
  • Consol Energy
  • Peabody Energy
  • Shell

Arch Coal, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil did not respond.

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Report
7 November 2018

Full scorecard

Author: Union of Concerned Scientists

"Fossil fuel companies are facing increasing shareholder, legal and political pressure to stop spreading climate disinformation and to fix their business plans to achieve dramatic reductions in global warming emissions. While some companies are responding to this pressure, overall their efforts remain insufficient to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

In 2016, when we first analyzed the actions of 8 major oil, gas, and coal companies, we found that none had made a clean break with disinformation on climate science and policy or planned adequately for a world free from carbon pollution.

In 2018, although some companies have publicly supported the Paris climate agreement to limit harmful warming, none of these companies has set company-wide emissions reduction targets consistent with this goal. Many continue to downplay or misrepresent climate science and the dangers of carbon emissions, and all continue to support trade groups that spread climate disinformation and work to stymie needed climate policies...

We evaluated eight companies on 28 metrics, organized in four broad areas:

  • Disinformation: Have these companies stopped spreading disinformation about climate science and policies?
  • Business Planning:  Do these companies’ business plans align with a world free from carbon pollution? 
  • Policies:  Do these companies support fair and effective climate policies?
  • Disclosure:  Are these companies fully disclosing the financial and physical risks of climate change to their business operations?"

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Company non-response
6 November 2018

Arch Coal did not respond

Arch Coal did not respond to allegations that their efforts are insufficient to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

Company response
6 November 2018

BP responds

“The transition to a low carbon economy is one of the great challenges of our time. BP is dedicated to being part of the solution. In our recent report, Advancing the Energy Transition, we reaffirm our commitment to advance the energy transition and set out our new, specific quantified targets and a range of other aims and activities. The report is available via bp.com here.”

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Company non-response
6 November 2018

Chevron did not respond

Chevron did not respond to allegations that their efforts are insufficient to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

Company non-response
6 November 2018

ConocoPhillips did not respond

ConocoPhillips did not respond to allegations that their efforts are insufficient to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

Company response
6 November 2018

Consol Energy responds

“The Union of Concerned Scientists’ recently-issued “Climate Accountability Scorecard,” which references CONSOL Energy Inc., appears to provide a subjective assessment based on a limited comparison of information on the Company’s website to unsubstantiated and narrow metrics defined by the report’s activist group authors.

At CONSOL, our core values of safety, compliance, and continuous improvement serve as the basis for our commitment to responsible coal production. Our environmental policy aligns with these values, and is focused on minimizing our footprint, maximizing water reuse, reducing process air emissions, and restoring mine land for use by future generations.

We routinely communicate our environmental goals, quantitative performance, and management approach to third parties and other stakeholders through participation in multiple disclosures in a variety of formats, such as CDP. Most recently, we’ve become a Bettercoal Supplier, through which we have committed to an independent assessment of our operations in 2019..."

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Company non-response
6 November 2018

ExxonMobil did not respond

ExxonMobil did not respond to allegations that their efforts are insufficient to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

Company response
6 November 2018

Peabody Energy responds

"Peabody believes that coal is a key contributor to affordable, reliable energy and fossil fuels will continue to play a significant role in the global energy mix. The company also recognizes that these fuels contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, and concern regarding these emissions has become part of the global political, societal and regulatory landscape in which we operate.

Greater use of technology can help meet the world's need for energy security, economic growth and environmental solutions through high-efficiency low emissions coal-fueled power plants today and research and development funding for carbon capture over time.

As outlined in our position statement on energy and climate, Peabody will continue to reduce our carbon footprint and promote the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies.  More information is available in our Corporate and Social Responsibility Report at PeabodyEnergy.com."

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Company response
6 November 2018

Shell responds

"Shell has responded to the UCS request for information, and in keeping with their request for publicly accessible information, we directed them to a link to our public website that covers the topics in their questionnaire, including our Greenhouse gas emissions reporting, our public response to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), and our climate change policy positions: (http://www.shell.com/sustainability/sustainability-reporting-and-performance-data/performance-data/greenhouse-gas-emissions.html).

Shell’s position on climate change and the challenge that CO2 poses is well known and has been documented for more than two decades through publications such as Shell’s Annual Report and Sustainability Report. Shell welcomes and strongly supports the goals of the Paris Agreement. We agree on the objective of a transition towards a net-zero emission energy system and a world where global temperature increases are limited to less than 2°C..."

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