Greenpeace Claims China’s Oil And Gas Firms Engaging In ‘Greenwashing’ With LNG Purchases

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Daily News, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Greenpeace Claims China’s Oil And Gas Firms Engaging In ‘Greenwashing’ With LNG Purchases

In a damning revelation, Greenpeace has accused major oil and gas companies in China, including PetroChina and CNOOC Gas and Power, of engaging in deceptive environmental practices. Greenpeace claims China’s oil and gas firms engaging in ‘greenwashing’. According to the environmental advocacy group, these companies are utilizing low-quality carbon offsets to create a façade of eco-friendliness, particularly in their liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.

The firms in question have entered into long-term contracts with global energy giant Shell, claiming to purchase “carbon neutral” LNG. However, Greenpeace contends that these companies rely on questionable “forest offsets” to neutralize carbon emissions, a practice the organization vehemently opposes.

Greenpeace claims China's oil and gas firms are engaging in 'greenwashing'

Greenpeace’s concerns go beyond mere scepticism about the effectiveness of carbon offsets as Greenpeace claims China’s oil and gas firms engaging in ‘greenwashing’. They argue that using the “carbon neutral” label is misleading the public and diverting attention from these companies’ lack of robust commitments to reduce emissions.

Li Jiatong, project leader with Greenpeace in Beijing, stated, “For oil and gas companies in particular, carbon offsets are a smokescreen to obscure their continued, redoubled carbon emissions.

Despite the serious allegations, PetroChina did not respond to requests for comment, and CNOOC Oil and Gas’s parent company asserted it was not directly involved in LNG purchases. Shell, the supplier in question, declined to comment on Greenpeace’s report.

Greenpeace’s investigation also revealed significant flaws in the measurement and accounting of the carbon offsets. Many offsets were allegedly not consistently measured, and there were instances of double counting. Moreover, the environmental group highlighted the vulnerability of forests associated with offset schemes, suggesting that they could become carbon sources instead of sinks due to the risk of fires.

According to Greenpeace, credits from 15 forestry carbon sink projects in China involving major energy players like Shell, PetroChina, and CNOOC have already been secured. However, 80 per cent of these projects include trees at medium- to high risk of burning down.

The surge in “carbon neutral” LNG sales is primarily driven by the increasing demand for gas, particularly in Asia. Greenpeace reported that around 85 per cent of carbon-neutral LNG cargoes had been sold to Asian buyers.

As China’s gas consumption is expected to rise significantly in the coming years, reaching 250 billion cubic meters by 2026, the “carbon neutral” gas issue will likely become a focal point during the upcoming COP28 talks, starting this week. The use of gas, considered a “bridge fuel” in the transition to cleaner energy, has faced criticism from anti-fossil fuel groups.

Polly Hemming, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Australia Institute, expressed scepticism about the practice, stating, “Stapling those offsets to fossil fuels and claiming that they are net zero – it’s bonkers.

The allegations by Greenpeace add to the growing scrutiny faced by industries as the world intensifies its efforts to combat climate change and transition towards sustainable energy practices.

Also Read: Reusable Plastic Can Reduce Plastic Emissions By Up To 69%

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