Most of the major oil companies like to strut their green credentials these days – some even avoid the word oil; preferring to call themselves “energy” companies.
Go to most of their sites – Chevron, BP, Shell – and you’ll see the environment featuring heavily on their home pages. They’ll talk about battling climate change, investments in renewable energy and it all sounds great. They are turning around their businesses.
Take for instance Shell who, according to this article, don’t plan to make any more large investments in wind and solar energy in the future as they “continue to struggle to compete with the other investment opportunities we have in our portfolio”. If they are struggling, it’s certainly not being helped by the fossil fuel lobby, of which they are a part.
And just on the point of Shell’s showcasing its involvement in renewable energy – only 1 percent of its investments go to these energy sources. That is not a commitment, it’s a token gesture.
Shell’s move goes back to my last post of economy vs. environment. If we are to believe that we are at a critical point in relation to climate change, the environment must come first – and by addressing the threats facing “civilization” we can also address the struggling economy.
The current financial crisis has proven beyond a doubt the system is broken. It’s time for a change, company boards and shareholders need a good, solid slap – it’s becoming obvious not a lot is being learned yet.