5 Oil Companies want to tax CO2 Emissions

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HIT HNG technology up to zero emissions power plants

Five European oil and gas companies, are calling for emissions-trading systems or taxes on carbon emissions for industries. They asked for it in a letter to the climate commission of the UN.  

The challenge is to meet a higher demand for energy with less CO2 emissions, say oil and gas companies.

BP, Shell / BG Group, Eni, Total and Statoil are joining forces for an initiative calling for carbon pricing. The big 5 want to help shape climate policies to benefit natural gas, which produces about half the carbon emissions of coal when burned to create electricity.

UN climate conference

With this plea for a global CO2 tax, the companies have chosen position for the UN climate conference in Paris December, 2015. For years, international tax on greenhouse gas emissions was an issue that has been discussed at climate conferences. But China and the US could not agree on it.

EU emission rights

Only the European Union is serious about trading in CO2 emission rights. But these are not very effective because the ejection of additional greenhouse gas in this system is very cheap.

Innovation boost

To decrease the use of oil, coal and gas requires a rate of 30 to 40 euros per tonne of CO2. At current EU emissions are costing only 7 to 8 euros. And most of the EU-companies have free emission rights. A higher CO2 price will stimulate innovations in renewable energy. Tax levy is a better strategy than keep on funding with subsidies.

For the five oil and gas giants there are other benefits:

  • Natural gas will be more attractive than coal for power: perfect for the collaborating companies
  • CO2 underground storage is appealing, a technique Shell is experimenting with
  • Energy savings will be stimulated
  • Wind- and solar energy will become financially attractive

Prices too low

In May 2015 negotiators from the European Parliament agreed on improvements to the EU emissions trading scheme. But still, because of the surplus emissions rights, prices have been remained too low. Temporarily, the EU wil buy all CO2 surpluses in the EU-market.


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