Oil Industry’s Pro-Climate Agenda: Fifty Shades of Green


Over the past two decades the oil and gas industry (or “fossil fuel” industry) has appeared to embrace climate change solutions, notwithstanding their profit-maximizing goals. This is a façade. In this note, I account for historical developments amongst major oil companies in the U.S. and in Europe to investigate the true motivations behind their climate related efforts. This will include the companies’ growing liabilities under the law, adverse regulations affecting their business, investor expectations shaping their trajectories, and normative pressures from the public. I hypothesize that in time, the weight of climate change will compel countries to enforce environmentally conscious policies to regulate the fossil fuel industry. For a meaningful advancement of greener policies, American and European governments need to adopt conscientious regulations that are independent of corporate influences to support the market-based solutions already initiated by Big Oil.



Shraddha Gupta (Washington University in St. Louis)



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