Corporate PR campaigns pitch energy giants Shell and BP as clean and green, according to Friends of the Earth (FOE), but this is a cover story for their financial accounts, which show that close to 70% of their capital investment is poured into exploration for oil and gas.
"If the proportion of BP and Shell's investments in renewables came even close to the proportion of their advertising budget they spend bragging about themselves, we would be well on the way to addressing dangerous climate change", says Craig Bennett, Head of Corporate Accountability Campaign at FOE, "but the reality is that both of these companies are making massive green claims while carrying on with unsustainable business as usual."
BP has put "massive effort" into branding itself as green over the last twelve months according to a FOE statement, released yesterday. Full-page newspaper advertisements and TV commercials appear almost every week, it says, and suggest that the company is well into the process of going "Beyond Petroleum".
Both BP and Shell continue to pour more than two-thirds of their resources into exploration for oil and gas. Investment in renewable energy – respectively 5.7% and 1.1% – is tiny according to FOE which is now urging the UK government to improve corporate transparency by applying common key performance environmental indicators to its "Companies Bill".
© Rob Welham
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