Firms urge carbon pricing scheme
Six of Europe's biggest oil and gas firms today called on the United Nations (UN) to introduce a worldwide carbon pricing scheme to combat global warning.
In a letter sent to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change the firms warned that unless this step was taken it risked creating "uncertainty about investment" in the industry which spends billions on energy projects each year.
The letter was signed by the chief executives of the UK's BG Group and BP, France's Total, Italy's Eni, Norway's Statoil and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell.
It comes ahead of a key UN conference in Paris in December where almost 200 countries will meet to discuss the next steps to be taken on global energy policy and climate change.
A carbon price is a levy paid to governments for the right to emit carbon into the atmosphere.
The energy companies' letter argues that they should be part of the solution to pursue the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change target that global temperatures should rise by no more than two degrees centigrade.
The letter said: "Pricing carbon obviously adds a cost to our production and our products - but carbon pricing policy frameworks will contribute to provide our businesses and their many stakeholders with a clear roadmap for future investment, a level playing field for all energy sources across geographies and a clear role in securing a more sustainable future."
The energy firms also said that natural gas, of which these companies have large reserves, should also make up a strong part of climate policy alongside renewable fuels.
They said that when natural gas is burned to make electricity it typically generates around half the carbon emissions coal does.
The firms said: "We firmly believe that carbon pricing will discourage high carbon options and reduce uncertainty that will help stimulate investments in the right low carbon technologies and the right resources at the right pace."