Oil and Gas companies at the crossroads: transform or become redundant Urgent results revealed by WBA’s latest benchmark on the sector /WBA發表最新基準 – 石油和天然氣企業處於十字路口:轉型或被淘汰

Matt Gwynn, (Engagement Manager) and Aparna Trichur (Partnerships & Communications Lead) – World Benchmarking Alliance

At the World Benchmarking Alliance, we recently launched a Climate and Energy Benchmark in Oil and Gas in partnership with CDP and ADEME. The benchmark assesses the world’s most influential 100 listed and state-owned oil and gas companies’ targets and performance against their 1.5°C pathway to see if they are on track to meet the Paris Agreement. The most comprehensive corporate accountability mechanism for a low-carbon transition; our research drew some alarming conclusions, including a key finding on the performance of state owned companies, particularly relevant for China.  

Companies with state ownership are slower to transition than the majors and independents. WBA’s benchmark showed that this poor performance is an even bigger risk to climate ambition than that of publicly listed and private companies. Why? Because “41 state owned companies account for 56% emissions; which is more than half of the projected emissions of the total 100 companies”. In addition to this worrying state of picture, many of the nations involved have made no commitment to net-zero emissions and there is limited ability for non-government stakeholders to push for change.


Description automatically generated

Looking at this through the regional lens; the Oil and Gas Benchmark assessed the following five companies headquartered in China: China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation Limited (Sinopec), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Group), Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group and Sinochem Energy.

The five companies are positioned in the bottom 50% of the 100 ranking. Sinopec leads the group, ranked joint 54th with an ACT rating of 2.0E-. Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group and Sinochem Energy, ranking in the bottom 10, are at most risk in the low-carbon transition.

The narrative assessment provides a holistic view of a company’s state of alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Taking into account findings from the performance assessment component of the ACT rating, the narrative assessment asks what does the company plan to do and how it is planning to achieve this? What is the company already doing and what activities have been undertaken recently? And lastly, how consistent is the companies plan as a whole? All five companies received the lowest narrative rating of E indicating group misalignment with the Paris Agreement goals. Additionally, all five companies received a negative trend score, meaning that if the companies were reassessed in the near future, its score would likely decrease.

The five companies underperform on low-carbon target setting, with a lack in public commitments and quantitative targets to reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Targets can be pivotal in driving business strategy and demonstrating the company’s alignment with its 1.5°C pathway. Companies must be more transparent on their emissions reduction targets in the short term and long term to allow external stakeholders to assess its commitment to the low-carbon transition.

Our research concluded that in this new era for energy production, oil and gas companies are at a crossroads: transform or become redundant. They can no longer plead ignorance of how urgently change is needed. The industry must acknowledge the wholesale transformation required to survive and signal the steps it is taking to meet this challenge.

Given this context, what can China, as a country do to create a policy environment that enables these companies to course correct, well in time? China’s President Xi Jinping announced the country’s low-carbon transition intentions a year ago, with the release of their Net Zero Commitment by 2060. In that line, what more can investors, civil society, policy makers and other stakeholders do to inspire commitments from companies in the region?

With the recent release of IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report; it is clear that there is no more time left for waiting to act. If humanity needs to be re-aligned to a 1.5 degree future, everyone must act in parallel and in conjunction to each other for a system transformation on decarbonisation and energy. Governments must step up their policy commitments towards climate action; and companies must be held accountable for the volume of their actions. Can Chinese stakeholders exhibit leadership to do so?

What does concrete action look like for them? Given the significance of the influence of these companies, with the number of people they employ, considering the size and scale of their operations, there is a definite opportunity for them to step up and showcase leadership to pivot the trajectory towards a 1.5 degree future: nationally, regionally and globally.

Setting up specific targets for scope 3 emissions reductions, which is one of the biggest emissions sources for oil and gas companies, constitutes one notable area for improvement. The findings from our benchmark assessment show that most oil and gas companies are still not in line with their targets and ambitions to achieve a low-carbon transition that meets the 1.5°C scenario. Their targets need to be stepped up; their commitments need to be made firmer. Given that oil and gas is a high-emitting industry in every country’s economic portfolio, it is also essential for both companies and countries to work towards better alignment in their decarbonisation plans. This can form the basis for greater engagement between these influential companies and national governments, as well as between companies and their allies and stakeholders in the locations where they operate.

WBA will continue to disseminate the data and key findings of the global Oil and Gas Benchmark at country and regional levels in China by convening dialogues, contributing to policy development and engaging directly with the companies.  If we are to activate effective action on the low-carbon transition, it’s imperative for us all to play our role.

Read the complete results of WBA’s Oil and Gas Benchmark here: https://www.worldbenchmarkingalliance.org/publication/oil-and-gas/

Visit www.foe.org.hk for more news about Friends of the Earth (HK)!
Green Finance Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greenfinancefoehk/
FoE (HK) LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/friends-of-the-earth-hk/

世界基準聯盟(World Benchmarking Alliances; WBA)最近與全球環境信息研究中心(CDP)及法國環境能源管理總署智庫(ADEME)合作,在旗下氣候和能源基準中,發表《石油與天然氣行業基準》報告,此基準主要評估世界上最有影響力的100家上市及國營石油和天然氣公司,評估企業是否符合《巴黎協定》的要求,控制平均氣溫升幅在1.5°C的水平,基準有助監察企業的低碳轉型表現。研究結果確實令人震驚,當中包括對國營企業的重要發現,結果更對中國內地企業尤其重要。



Description automatically generated

從地區的角度分析,《石油與天然氣行業基準》評估了以下五家總部設在中國內地的公司,包括:中國石油化工集團(Sinopec)、中國石油天然氣集團 (CNPC)、中國海洋石油 (CNOOC Group)、陝西延長石油集團和中化能源。









WBA將繼續從國家和地區層面,發佈全球石油和天然氣基準的資料及發現,包括舉辦研討會,為相關政策制定發展作出貢獻,並直接與企業接觸。我們期望能刺激行業在低碳轉型上作出有效行動,而我們相信每個崗位都能發揮自己的作用。 欲查閱WBA《石油與天然氣行業基準》完整報告,請前往以下連結:https://www.worldbenchmarkingalliance.org/publication/oil-and-gas/

瀏覽香港地球之友網頁 www.foe.org.hk 了解更多
綠色金融 Facebook 專頁: https://www.facebook.com/greenfinancefoehk/
香港地球之友 LinkedIn 專頁: https://www.linkedin.com/company/friends-of-the-earth-hk/

Understanding Companies’ Net Zero Targets

Michele Leung, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK) 

In May, Shell was ordered by the court to cut its global carbon emission by 45% by the end of 2030 compared with 2019 levels. Though Shell made its Net Zero commitment, the targets was said to be insufficiently robust.  The court added that its “policy intentions and ambitions for the Shell group largely amount to rather intangible, undefined and non-binding plans for the long-term”.

As climate change is becoming the top agenda among investors and corporates, establishing decarbonization and Net Zero targets are gaining traction, however there is not sufficient visibility on these targets and the main problem lies in the heterogeneity, for example, not all companies look into their value chains and it is difficult to compare their commitments.

To fully understand the companies’ Net Zero targets, we should look into these three dimensions,

1. Comprehensiveness

How much footprint is covered by the Net Zero target? Which scope is under the target? Does it cover scope 1, 2 and all categories of scope 3 emissions? Most often, companies exclude scope 3 in their targets. For example, it is found 87% of energy sector average of carbon emissions come from scope 3, yet only 18% of these energy companies set the targets on those scope 3 emissions. These companies’ decarbonization goals clearly miss out a great part of their carbon footprints.

2. Ambition

Does the company target reach Net Zero or not? How much we capture at target date? What would have been the residual emissions after the target is met?

3. Feasibility

What are the companies’ track records in meeting the goal? What are their strategies in achieving the target? These track records can help inform likelihood of meeting the goals, while also develop confidence in the target setting.

In conclusion, these three dimensions would help to breakdown the comprehensiveness, ambition and feasibility of companies’ emission targets.  A proper framework would help investors better analyze and manage their risk exposures under climate change.

Visit www.foe.org.hk for more news about Friends of the Earth (HK)!
Green Finance Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greenfinancefoehk/
FoE (HK) LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/friends-of-the-earth-hk/

太空旅行符合 ESG 原則嗎?

【意見交流園地】馮健鏗 Ryan Fung

太空探索算是一門政治符號學,52 年前的 7 月 20 日,美國太空人 Neil Armstrong 和 Edwin Aldrin 乘坐阿波羅 11 號登陸月球,為人類譜寫歷史。而在 2021 年,美國上演國退民進,為太空競賽 2.0 拉開帷幕,繼維珍銀河創辦人 Richard Branson 衝出地球,亞馬遜創辦人 Jeff Bezos 也成功登上太空。但熱鬧中,逐漸左傾的資本市場真正關心的是甚麼?

資本家征服地球、自我膨脹背後,當然是國力和意識形態的展示,但資本市場對這種高風險行業的胃納,似乎未跟得上。先有在維珍銀河團隊回到地球後借好消息出貨,配股集資 5 億美元;另有一些在金融圈兜售 Elon Musk 旗下 SpaceX 股份的基金,在另外兩間競爭對手試飛成功後,焦急調低 SpaceX 的認購費和表現費,用腳投票,反映出外界對太空旅遊的商業模式憧憬,似乎仍保持懷疑態度,多於相信能夠「做大做強」。

除了一個可行的商業模式,太空旅行所衍生出的環保、安全等重要性(Materiality)問題,從 ESG 角度分析也不容忽視。畢竟現在全球追求零碳足跡,太空旅行卻反其道而行,因為相比乘搭長途飛機,太空旅行帶來更多污染。

有倫敦大學學院學者就計算出,在長途航班中,每位乘客會排放 1 到 3 噸二氧化碳,但是一架搭載 4 名乘客的火箭,就排出高達 200 到 300 噸二氧化碳,污染程度大相逕庭。

先後上太空的 Richard Branson 和 Jeff Bezos 也在社交媒體遭遇猛烈批評,被指投放於太空探索的經費,本可以有更妥善的用途,例如對抗氣候變化、幫助世界從疫情中復甦等。

而對此,兩位企業家的回應,似乎也只是顧左右而言他。Branson 回應批評稱:「我可以理解,但我認為他們可能還沒完全了解太空對地球的意義。」他形容,衛星可監控氣候變化引起的現象,現時人類需要更多太空船,不是更少;至於更懂公關學問的 Bezos,則坦承有關批評「基本上正確」,但認為凡事不能二元對立,而是要雙管齊下,形容地球上有很多問題需要解決,但同時亦需要展望未來,拓展人類文明。


瀏覽香港地球之友網頁 www.foe.org.hk 了解更多
綠色金融 Facebook 專頁: https://www.facebook.com/greenfinancefoehk/
香港地球之友 LinkedIn 專頁: https://www.linkedin.com/company/friends-of-the-earth-hk/



政府近年大力推動綠色金融,最受惠的可能是綠色債券,去年開始,政府補貼綠色債券發行的行政費用,在政府大力推動下,表面數字綠色債券發行量上升了數倍,達港幣二十多億元,但這數字是否令人鼓舞? 我們可以看看香港每天的股票成交量, 現時達二千多到二千多億,以香港現時的資金流動量,綠色債券即使得到政府大力推廣,發行量仍是十分寒酸。


 另一方面,作為投資者,我們購買綠債時,可能會問到一連串的問題,例如綠債是由誰來認證它的”綠”。很抱歉的向各位讀者回答這個問題, 綠債到現在沒有一個全球的統一標準與制度, 幾年前香港有數家公司發行過綠債,他們根本就沒有正式認證, 只稱呼自己為綠債,就開始發行了。現在政府大力推動,以HKQAA作為綠債認證中心,而HKQAA是國際綠債組織CBI (Climate Bond Initiative) 的會員,他們抄了CBI的架構,做了一個本地的標準,在國內,綠債也有自己的標準架構, 沒有一套的全球公認準則,在推廣上當然會有頗大困難。


一樣新事物的推動,我們可能需要多方不同持分者的積極參與,並合作制定遊戲規則,但在現實世界內,大部分持分者都有自己的考慮點,很少會伸出頭來作領導人完善整個制度,政府的角色很多時也因為自由經濟原則,很少會以行政法解決問題,綠債在香港到現在為止,暫時仍像長不大的小幼苗,只停留在公司公關的層面, 希望未來我們可以找到出路,為綠色金融打開缺口。

瀏覽香港地球之友網頁 www.foe.org.hk 了解更多
綠色金融 Facebook 專頁: https://www.facebook.com/greenfinancefoehk/
香港地球之友 LinkedIn 專頁: https://www.linkedin.com/company/friends-of-the-earth-hk/

Upcoming Events on Green Finance/ 今期綠色金融活動一覽

Check out the above calendar for the fantastic green finance events for August! Interested to join and learn more about green finance? Browse the links below to check out the upcoming events on Green Finance.


[1] Webinar on the SBTi Ambition Update

[2] CESGA® Pre-Examination Training

[3] Sustainable Investing in Asia Market

[4] Renewables & Climate Change: An Overview of Carbon Market

[5] Corporate Governance in India: What Investors Need to Know

[6] Accelerating ESG Incorporation by Banks and Investors

[7] The role of finance in restoring our natural ecosystems

Visit www.foe.org.hk for more news about Friends of the Earth (HK)!
Green Finance Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greenfinancefoehk/
FoE (HK) LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/friends-of-the-earth-hk/

瀏覽香港地球之友網頁 www.foe.org.hk 了解更多
綠色金融 Facebook 專頁: https://www.facebook.com/greenfinancefoehk/
香港地球之友 LinkedIn 專頁: https://www.linkedin.com/company/friends-of-the-earth-hk/