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Have you ever wondered how big companies like Chevron plan to fulfill their ambitious climate pledges? According to a recent investigation, the second-largest fossil fuel company in the US seems to be falling short, using carbon offsets deemed “junk” and technologies that are questionable at best. The cherry on top? Chevron’s grand plan seems to disregard approximately 90% of its emissions. Let’s take a closer look.
Source: Bloomberg Originals/Youtube
Chevron made $35.5 billion last year, running operations in continents as diverse as North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia. Despite this vast network, Chevron publicly aspires to achieve net-zero upstream emissions by 2050. How, you ask? Mostly through carbon offset schemes and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.
However, a shocking revelation by Corporate Accountability, a transnational corporate watchdog, paints a grim picture. Their research shows that 93 percent of the offsets Chevron bought between 2020 and 2022 were environmentally problematic, to say the least. These offsets were linked to projects that did not lead to additional greenhouse gas reductions, over-exaggerated their benefits, or risked emitting emissions.
A report shared with The Guardian, stated that nearly half of Chevron’s offsets were linked to social and environmental harms, predominantly affecting communities in the Global South, which are also severely impacted by the climate crisis.
The report titled “Destruction Is at the Heart of Everything We Do” came out amid global protests against Chevron’s oil and gas businesses. It highlighted that Chevron’s climate aspirations only account for less than 10 percent of the company’s carbon footprint. This tiny fraction relates to upstream emissions from production and transportation, ignoring end-use emissions from burning fossil fuels.
In spite of claiming to offset emissions through carbon offset programs, Chevron’s projected emissions from 2022 to 2025 are set to outpace the total emissions of ten European countries combined for a similar period. Furthermore, even if Chevron were to meet its “net-zero” goals, it would still fall significantly short of tackling the bulk of the emissions it is responsible for.
With these revelations, we’re seeing a critical exposure of carbon offsets and carbon capture as potentially false climate solutions. It is crucial to remember that these strategies could actually encourage polluters to continue emitting greenhouse gases. This investigation sheds light on tactics that could undermine and delay meaningful climate action.
So what can we do about it? This brings us to our call to action.
We all need to take responsibility for our choices, and that includes the businesses we Support. It’s up to us to demand transparency and integrity from the companies we invest in. Let’s push for true sustainability, not just green words. Share this information, start conversations, and challenge businesses to do better. Remember, our actions today will determine the future of our planet, so let’s make them count!
And next time you fill up your tank, think twice about where your money is going.
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- World’s Largest Logjam Storing 3.4 Million Tons of Carbon Found in the Arctic
- Lufthansa Introduces ‘Green Fares’ to Help Travelers Offset Their CO2
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