Make the Connections: the facts

Governments, fossil fuel companies and the finance sector are in bed together on the climate crisis.

The mutually beneficial relationship and decades of collusion between the finance sector, governments and fossil fuel companies prove that these pillars of society are unable to solve a crisis of their own making.

#MakeTheConnections #InBedTogetherOnTheClimateCrisis

Government

Our governments hands are tied by the drive for growth and profit and are unable to take real action to stop emissions and slow the climate and ecological crisis. This is due to vested interests, lobbying, the revolving door between politics and big business. Only recently, UK held private talks with fossil fuel firms about Glasgow Cop26.

Scottish and UK Government continues to invest in the exploration and extraction of oil and gas and gives tax breaks to fossil fuel companies.

In legislation:

  • The Petroleum Act 1998 (as amended in 2015) requires that the ‘recovery of oil and gas from UK territory is maximised’.
  • The Coal Industry Act 1994 requires that ‘an economically viable coal-mining industry in Great Britain is maintained and developed’.
  • Government’s net zero by 2050 target doesn’t include fossil fuels extracted and exported to another country (Climate Change Act 2008).

In subsidies:

  • £10.5 bn per year is spent subsidising the fossil fuel industry.
  • £24 billion in tax reliefs for decommissioning oil and gas rigs.
  • Tax breaks to North Sea oil firms has cost the UK £250bn 

In vested interests:

  • 99% of the UK’s export finance scheme was given to fossil fuel companies, ensuring developing countries get locked into a fossil fuel economy for decades.
  • Fossil fuel company employees sit on government committees

Scottish Government and climate change: why more needs to be done

XR Scotland’s analysis on the Scottish Government’s performance on tackling climate change and the issue of North Sea oil.

Scottish Government must now get down to work on Green Jobs – FoE Scotland analysis on Scottish Programme for Government

Scotland told it risks missing climate target without urgent action

Scottish climate target missed despite greenhouse gases being halved

Banks and investment

The global finance sector has invested more than $2.66 trillion in fossil fuels exploration and extraction since the Paris Agreement. Big banks like Barclays and HSBC are investing billions in oil & gas, locking us further into a fossil-fuelled future and accelerating climate and ecological breakdown.

Barclays lent fossil fuel companies almost £91 billion between the end of 2015, when the Paris Agreement was signed, and 2019.

HSBC provides £67 billion of support for the industry including financing a coal power plant in Vietnam and port-dredging in Bangladesh to allow more coal imports. 70,000 people could die every year due to coal power pollution across South East Asia.

Fossil banks: https://www.fossilbanks.org/#banks

Campaign against Climate Change: Switch from fossil fuels! Divest your bank and energy supplier

Banking on Climate Change: Banking on Climate Change 2020 (vF)

How Barclays and other banks are funding climate change

Banks and fossil fuel investment

Fossil fuels

70% of emissions are caused by 100 companies, most of them are oil and gas.

Oil and gas companies are continuing to receive investment from both governments and the finance sector to explore, extract and profit from fossil fuels. This month, the construction of a new coal mine was approved in Cumbria.

Fossil fuel companies have spent billions lobbying against climate action, spreading misinformation about the climate and ecological crisis and ensuring a carbon-based economy prevails – and we are forced to remain hooked on fossil fuels.

As their ‘social license to operate’ disintegrates, fossil fuel companies are now desperately trying to keep a foothold and remain profitable by being seen as the solution, rebranding and committing to net zero- too little too late.

Sea Change report: North Sea Oil and Gas will break climate limits

The new research in our report shows that the 5.7 billion barrels of oil and gas in already-operating UK oil and gas fields will exceed our fair share of Paris climate goals. But industry and government aim to extract 20 billion barrels – more than 3 times our fair share. If every fossil fuel producing nation did the same as the UK plans to, we will be living with climate breakdown in the not too distant future. Clearly we’ve got to stop drilling.

Oil firms to pour extra 7m barrels per day into markets, data shows (October 2019)

5 reasons BP’s ‘Net Zero’ announcement shouldn’t win you over just yet (August 2020)

The future according to Shell: Climate rhetoric and fossil fuel expansion (May 2020)

Plastic

How fracking in America makes Scotland the home of plastic production

In 2050, the production and incineration of plastic is expected to add more than 2.8 billion metric of tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent to emissions from 615 five-hundred-megawatt coal power plants.

In 2018, a staggering 450,000 plastic pellets were found on a beach in North Queensferry just 12 miles from Ineos, despite the plant having a Zero Pellet Loss Programme.

The best thing we can do is to reduce the plastic we are consuming and move to a circular economy where there are high rates of recycling and reuse.

Mossmorran: Sepa seeks prosecution over chemical plant flaring

What next?

Find out why we rebel for wildlife

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