So you happen to be one of the world’s biggest oil companies. Then someone asks you to start paying for the emissions you are responsible for. Not from your products mind you, just your rigs and refineries that emit gases in the process of producing fuel. Fuel like petrol which of course also produces emissions but they remain safely unregulated so lets not worry about them for now – no it’s just the process emissions your being asked to pay for. How do you react?
Shrug your shoulders and say its a fair cop – we’ve made a massive contribution over the years to a problem that is going bring misery to many millions of people – it’s about time we paid something in recompense and accepted that the freedom to carry on polluting with no financial penalty has to come to an end for the good of everyone.
Or do you [moan excessively about potential lost profits and threaten to withdraw any future investment](http://www.iii.co.uk/shares/?type=news&articleid=6647132&action=article “”) in the countries who have the cheek to even suggest the idea. You can probably guess which option Shell chose when faced with the prospect of having to buy emissions permits in Europe.
This kind of heavy handed political bullying makes me mad. We should just say fine – let someone else invest. And of course this is the same Shell that’s spending millions on advertising and PR trying to convince us they’ve now got the whole climate thing and are doing all they can to invest in solutions.
It is exactly this kind of lobbying that stops emissions trading from working properly. And exactly the kind of thing we need to be campaigning to counteract.
I think I need some camomile tea.