Oil's big guns to club together on global renewable energy fund, says Reuters

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Details of a global investment fund for renewable energy development driven by seven of the world’s leading oil executives are expected to be announced in London on Friday, according to a report by Reuters.

Chief executives from BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Statoil, Repsol, Eni and Saudi Aramco will club together to create the investment fund, which will focus on developing technologies to promote renewable energy, a source told Reuters.

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) is the leading fossil fuel-rooted group tasked with actively tackling climate change, and was set up in 2014 with the backing of the United Nations. Those seven oil companies all belong to the OGCI, which includes a total of 11 companies that represent around one-fifth of the world’s gas and oil production.

According to Reuters’ sources, these oil bigwigs will outline plans for an investment vehicle designed to support technologies that lower carbon emissions. Further details on how much will be invested, or by whom, were not forthcoming, but there will be a keen focus on car engine and fuel efficiency, said the report, as well as finding ways to lower the cost of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

There are also expected to be further details on how these seven oil giants are planning on lowering their own emissions, building upon last year’s call to world leaders to introduce a set price on carbon emissions to drive the uptake of cleaner technologies.

For too long, leading oil companies have been willfully blind to the damage fossil fuels have been causing to the environment, and have either dragged their heels on renewable energy adoption, or deliberately sought to undermine it.

However, in the past few years there have been notable steps towards the positive, with France’s Total and Italy’s Eni upping their clean energy investments and most of the world’s leading polluters ratifying last year’s Paris Agreement to seek ways to limit global warming to below 2 C by the end of the century.