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LONDON, UK: Business watchdog Global Witness says the 50-plus oil and gas companies who authored and signed a ‘net-zero’ carbon reduction agreement at COP28, will be responsible for 156 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions in the next 25 years.

According to analysis based on the Rystad Energy database, the NGO says the signatories of the UAE ‘Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter’ have only agreed to achieve net-zero emissions from their operations by 2050.

As a result, up to 90 percent of the emissions from 265 billion barrels of oil and 26.7 billion cubic metres of gas will be burned by end users - equal to 62 percent of the Earth’s remaining 1.5C carbon budget.

Saudi Aramco and ADNOC are projected to produce a combined 136.4 billion barrels of oil and 5.5 billion cubic metres of gas resulting in 64.7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Of the international oil companies, ExxonMobil, Equinor, TotalEnergies, Eni and Shell are forecast to collectively produce 57 billion barrels of oil and 8.4 billion cubic metres of gas to emit 38.6 billion tonnes of CO2.

Heralded by the UAE as a big win for the environment, the list of signatories include 30 national oil companies: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Bapco Energies, Ecopetrol, EGAS, Equinor, GOGC, INPEX Corporation, KazMunaiGas, Mari Petroleum, Namcor, National Oil Company of Libya, Nilepet, NNPC, OGDC,ONGC, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Pertamina, Petoro, Petrobras, Petroleum Development Oman, Petronas, PTTEP, Saudi Aramco, SNOC, SOCAR, Sonangol, Uzbekneftegaz, ZhenHua Oil and YPF.

And over 20 energy companies also added their names to the declaration: Azule Energy, BP, Cepsa, COSMO Energy, Crescent Petroleum, Dolphin Energy Limited, Energean Oil & Gas, Eni, EQT Corporation, Exxonmobil, ITOCHU, LUKOIL, Mitsui & Co, Oando plc, Occidental Petroleum, OMV, Puma Energy (Trafigura), Repsol, Shell, TotalEnergies and the Woodside Energy Group.

"You'd think the hottest year in the last 125,000 would be enough to end greenwashing once and for all - but since it wasn't, let's state it plainly,” said Bill McKibben, climate campaigner and co-founder of 350.org. “No means no - there's not a way to square 'decarbonisation' with fossil fuel expansion. They mean the exact opposite.”

Global Witness senior fossil fuels investigator Patrick Galey added: “After looking at the detail of this pact, signed to great backslapping by bosses of some of the world’s largest polluters, I have only two questions: Who do these people think they are, and how stupid do they think we are?”

Galey declared the agreement was little more than a forgery; allowing the fossil fuel industry to produce and sell billions of barrels of oil and gas for decades.
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