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.

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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/


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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。

國營企業的轉型速度比私營企業慢。WBA的基準顯示,國營企業表現差劣,其面臨的氣候風險比上市公司和私營公司還要大。為什麼呢?因為「41家國營公司的排放量佔56%,佔全球100家企業預計排放量的一半以上。」除了之外,更令人擔憂的是,許多相關國家都沒有作出淨零排放的承諾,而非政府的持份者推動變革的能力亦有限。

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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。

這五家公司在100家公司的排名中,位於後50%的位置。中國石化表現相對較佳,以2.0E-的ACT評級,排名第54位。陝西延長石油集團和中化能源則排名在最後10位,顯示他們在低碳轉型中風險最大。

敘述性評估能提供一間公司與《巴黎協定》目標是否保持一致的整體藍圖。ACT評級著重績效評估,敘述性評估著重公司計劃的主旨以及如何實現這目標?公司最近展開什麼計劃及活動?最後,公司整體計劃是否與協定目標一致?以上提及的五家公司都得到了最低的敘述評級E,顯示其集團與協定之目標並不一致。另外,五家公司同時都得到了一個負面趨勢的分數,意味將來對其企業再次進行評估時,分數很可能會再下降。

這五家公司在低碳目標設定方面,表現同樣不佳,企業沒有對公眾作出承諾及量化目標,以減少範圍1、2和3的排放。企業設定目標對於推動商業策略,及展示公司與1.5°C協定保持一致上,發揮關鍵作用。公司必須對其短期和長期的減排目標更加透明,讓外部持份者能充分評估其對低碳轉型的承諾。

我們的研究結論是,在這個能源生產的新時代,石油和天然氣公司正處在一個十字路口:要麼轉型,要麼被淘汰。他們不能再以不了解變革的迫切性為藉口,行業必須承認生存必須要全面轉型,並以實際行動來迎接挑戰。

在這種情況下,作為一個國家,中國政府應如何創造一個有利政策環境,使企業能及時糾正方向?國家主席習近平一年前宣佈了中國低碳轉型的藍圖,並承諾2060年實現碳中和。這個情況下,投資者、大眾、政策制定者及相關持份者能做些什麼來鼓勵各企業作出承諾呢?

隨著最近政府間氣候變化專門委員會(IPCC)發表第六次評估報告,結果清晰地指出,人類已經沒有更多的時間來等待採取行動。如果人類需要重新阻止未來升溫1.5度,每個人都必須同樣地、相互配合地採取行動以實現減碳和能源系統轉型。政府必須加強對氣候變化的政策的承諾,而企業亦必須對其結果負責。究竟中國相關的持份者能否展示出這樣的領導力?

究竟對他們來說具體行動是怎樣的?考慮到這些企業的影響力、雇用的人數,及其業務的規模,他們絕對有能力對國家、地區及全球加強和展示領導力,邁向控制升溫1.5度的未來。

範圍3是石油和天然氣公司最大的排放源之一,因此為範圍減排制定具體目標,也是值得關注的改進領域之一。根據我們基準評估的結果顯示,大多數石油和天然氣公司仍然沒有達到他們所設立的目標,亦不夠雄心去實現限制升溫1.5度的低碳轉型,企業需要加強目標,以及作出更具體的承諾。由於石油和天然氣在每一個國家的經濟體系中都是排放最高的行業,企業和國家都必須共同努力才能使減碳計劃更加一致。一方面有助增加有影響力的公司與政府之間的參與度,另一方面亦可增加企業營運時與商業盟友和持份者的參與度。

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/


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