Shell Quitting Oil Lobby Puts BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil On Notice

Statement by Kathy Mulvey, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Apr 2, 2019

WASHINGTON (April 2, 2019)—Today, Shell published an audit of its trade associations’ climate positions. The Industry Associations Climate Review delivers on a promise made late last year to institutional investors concerned about climate change follows a similar report published by BHP in late 2017, and raises the transparency bar for industry competitors and their trade groups. For example, BP has only gone so far as to issue a disclaimer that trade association groups may hold positions different to those held by the company (see below for more).

Shell has won well-deserved headlines for its decision to quit the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), but the company’s decision to stick with other trade associations and industry groups that continue spreading climate disinformation is a head-scratcher, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). 

Below is a statement by Kathy Mulvey, fossil fuel accountability campaign director at UCS.

“Shell’s audit of its trade associations’ climate positions shines a light on the fossil fuel industry’s extensive political lobbying and policy advocacy, and puts pressure on industry peers to join in pulling back the curtain. If BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and other major fossil fuel companies followed Shell’s lead, we would be in a much stronger position to enact policies to prevent the worst effects of climate change and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon energy system and economy because trade associations that spread misinformation wouldn’t have members.

“However, it’s unclear how Shell can justify staying with the American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Western States Petroleum Association, given their well-documented roles in spreading disinformation on climate science and seeking to block climate action.”

For more on API, NAM, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and WSPA’s spread of disinformation, see Kathy’s blog.