Following the milestone 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there is a growing global consensus that global warming must be limited to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. A failure to do so will result in bleak changes to life as we know it on earth - including risks to health, livelihoods, food, water and security. The world is already experiencing the devastating impacts of a changed climate, and as this crisis worsens the poorest will be hit first and hardest.
Preventing catastrophic climate breakdown is possible, though major and deep emissions reductions. The world’s powerful fossil fuel companies - many either state owned or closely linked to governments - are one of the biggest barriers to achieving that change. Just 20 fossil fuel companies are responsible for one third of all carbon emissions since 1965. Through people power and campaigning, these companies are under more scrutiny than ever before - and oil and coal are becoming liabilities for them. However, they are turning to a new avenue in their hope of long-term survival: fossil gas (or as they call it, ‘natural gas’).
The fossil fuel industry is trying to convince citizens and governments that gas is a route to minimising emissions. But fossil gas is part of the problem and never the solution. If gas continues to be produced at the current rate even the complete phasing out of coal and oil wouldn’t be enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate breakdown - as we showed in our 2019 report, Overexposed. What’s more, at every stage the fossil gas industry leaks methane into the atmosphere - a powerful greenhouse gas that has driven more than a quarter of global warming to date.
Building on our decades of experience in bringing transparency and accountability to the oil and gas sector, we are campaigning to expose the influence of fossil fuel companies over government decision making and end the government support that it set to make us dependent on fossil gas.
The European Union is a key battleground. The EU is at the forefront of rich countries’ efforts to tackle the climate crisis, and has committed to reduce emissions to ‘net-zero’. Yet at the same time the EU is spending billions of taxpayers’ money propping up unviable infrastructure projects that create demand for a fuel we can’t afford to burn. The United States, meanwhile, is one of the greatest threats to tackling climate change - with plans to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate agreement, and set to produce nearly two-thirds of the world’s new oil and gas over the next decade.
Through investigations such as our 2020 report Pipe Down, we are exposing how the EU is outsourcing policy decisions to the companies who profit from the fuel. Meanwhile, we will also be taking on the gas lobby’s public relations machine to ensure gas is not seen as a green or climate friendly fuel.