STOCKHOLM - The chief executives of 10 of the world's biggest oil and gas companies have pledged support for an "effective" deal to fight global warming at a Paris conference next month.
In a statement Friday, the CEOs of BP, Shell, Saudi Aramco, Total, Repsol, Statoil, Eni, Petroelos Mexicanos, Reliance Industries and BG Group said they recognize greenhouse gas emissions trends are inconsistent with the ambition to keep warming below a level many consider dangerous.
Together, these companies provide almost a fifth of the world's oil and gas production. Burning coal, oil and gas for energy is a key emissions source.
In an exclusive interview with CBS News in October, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said that world economies can't afford not to reconsider their energy strategies and invest in cleaner fuel options, such as solar and wind power.
"The quality of life on this planet is going to be determined by the investment over the next 15 years," she said. "Whatever we invest now, in particular, into energy will be with us for 10, 20, 30, 40 years.... We cannot allow ourselves to get locked in to a highly emitting energy infrastructure that would put us above 2 degrees."
Last month, the International Energy Agency concluded that renewable energy will represent the largest single source of electricity growth over the next five years.
The companies offered to help by reducing flaring and methane emissions from oil and gas operations. They also called for replacing coal with cleaner-burning natural gas in power generation.
The CEOs stated: "Our shared ambition is for a 2 degree C future. It is a challenge for the whole of society. We are committed to playing our part. Over the coming years we will collectively strengthen our actions and investments to contribute to reducing the GHG intensity of the global energy mix. Our companies will collaborate in a number of areas, with the aim of going beyond the sum of our individual efforts."
Greenpeace said the companies' offer "contains nothing meaningful" and accused them of undermining effective climate action.