15 IOCs may threaten energy transition in Africa, Europe
• Shell, , Eni, others working to lock in gas
There are indications that over 15 International Oil Companies (IOCs) are involved in high-level lobbying to influence moves towards cleaner energy, a report said, yesterday.
New research by InfluenceMap, which has monitored European LNG sector’s advocacy since 2021, showed that the organisations were leading a multi-pronged influencing campaign that could lock in fossil gas across Africa and Europe.
The report, made available to The Guardian, revealed that BP, Shell and TotalEnergies were found to be influencing the value chain; starting with exploration and transportation of fossil fuels in Africa to the end use of fossil gas in Europe.
Three clear phases of this advocacy, according to the report, included promotion of gas exploration and LNG infrastructure in Africa, campaign for LNG imports and infrastructure in Europe, and lobbying against EU policies designed to reduce fossil gas use, including the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and Energy Efficiency Directive.
It noted, however, that several companies with assets in Africa have lobbied against the application of EU standards on methane emissions (a powerful greenhouse gas with a warming effect 86 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period) to fossil gas imports.
The research covered 15 European companies, including BP, E.ON, Enagás, Enel, Engie, Eni, Equinor, Fluxys, GALP, Gasunie, PGNiG, RWE, Shell, Snam and TotalEnergies.
Companies were selected using data from Global Energy Monitor, the report noted, adding that each company has newly proposed and in-construction LNG infrastructure in either Africa, specifically in Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tanzania, or in the EU, specifically in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Spain.
Key findings of the report revealed that 13 of the 15 companies have advocated new investments in fossil gas since 2021 and/or lobbied to weaken European climate legislation aimed at reducing EU’s fossil gas demand.
Coming despite all 13 companies publicly stating support for net zero by 2050 targets, the report added that BP, Shell, and TotalEnergies were found to be involved in all three stages of the international lobbying effort.
Speaking on the development, Africa Coordinator, Movement Building Space, Lorraine Chiponda, said attempts by fossil fuel corporations to greenwash their operations need to be met with the force and reality of their destructive operations and footprint.
Chiponda said: “In addition to fueling the planetary crisis, these companies have violently encroached on Africans’ lands, water and livelihoods. It is time to stop them.”
Oil Watch Africa Coordinator, Salome Nduta, said: “Africa and its leaders must choose its allies carefully. The EU must come out to say what its real agenda really is – to push for an alignment for 1.5 °C policy pathways or to allow its companies to continue advocating and extracting fossil fuels? We cannot condone this double speak any longer.”
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