Do Nothing, Risk Everything

Sun, 2007-04-15 17:29Emily Murgatroyd
Emily Murgatroyd's picture

Do Nothing, Risk Everything

A recent report published in March by the Ethical Funds Company found that out of 48 Canadian oil and gas companies studied, only 2 were responding in any meaningful way to address the risks associated with global warming; Shell Canada and Suncor.

Using a wide variety of sustainability metrics, EFC scored each company to determine how well they are prepared to meet the increasing demand for environmentally and sustainably sound practices in the oil and gas sector as it becomes more and more clear that climate change is a reality and will have a significant effect on operations.

The study included international oil and gas giants BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell as benchmarks for best practices and measured the significant financial risk of inaction and what that could lead to from the investment world. Some of the findings include:

  • Despite the existence of oil and gas leaders in Canada's oil patch, most companies have failed to take action around reducing emissions.
  • Only three companies globally, BC plc, Canadian Natural Resources and Talisman have been able to achieve absolute emissions reductions while still increasing production.
  • Only 13 out of the 48 companies publicly disclose their emissions.
This report is an excellent, high level, overview of Canada's oil and gas sector and provides a sober look at Canada's contribution to global warming, the high economic risk to these companies of doing nothing and what can be done to move the industry forward more sustainably.



Late last year, it came to light that Shell had been warned repeatedly by its own staff that the Trans Niger Pipeline was at significant risk of failure well before a 2008 spill of 500,000 barrels of oil. It was also revealed that Shell had drastically understated the extent of the spill.

These revelations were made during the proceedings of a lawsuit brought by a group of 15,000 Nigerians over a second spill from the same pipeline and helped lead to a...

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