🔥 Premium AI-powered Stock Picks from InvestingPro Now up to 50% OffCLAIM SALE

Davos 2023: Big Oil in sights of climate activist protests

Published 01/15/2023, 12:36 PM
Updated 01/16/2023, 12:12 PM
© Reuters. Climate activists display a banner during a protest ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, January 15, 2023. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
CVX
-
BP
-
2222
-

By Maha El Dahan

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) -Big oil firms came under pressure at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) from activists who accused them of hijacking the climate debate, while a Greta Thunberg-sponsored "cease and desist" campaign gained support on social media.

Major energy firms including BP (NYSE:BP), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Saudi Aramco (TADAWUL:2222) are among the 1,500 business leaders gathering for the annual meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos, where global threats including climate change are on the agenda.

"We are demanding concrete and real climate action," said Nicolas Siegrist, the 26-year-old organiser of the protest who also heads the Young Socialists party in Switzerland.

The annual meeting of global business and political leaders opens in Davos on Monday.

"They will be in the same room with state leaders and they will push for their interests," Siegrist said of the involvement of energy companies during a demonstration attended by several hundred people on Sunday.

The oil and gas industry has said that it needs to be part of the energy transition as fossil fuels will continue to play a major role in the world's energy mix as countries shift to low carbon economies.

On Monday, a social media campaign added to the pressure on oil and gas companies, by promoting a "cease and desist" notice sponsored by climate activists Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate and Luisa Neubauer, through the non-profit website Avaaz.

It demands energy company CEOs "immediately stop opening any new oil, gas, or coal extraction sites, and stop blocking the clean energy transition we all so urgently need", and threatens legal action and more protests if they fail to comply.

The campaign, which had been signed by more than 660,000 people, had almost 200,000 shares on Monday morning.

Sumant Sinha, who heads one of India's largest renewable energy firms, said it would be good to include big oil companies in the transition debate as they have a vital role to play.

"If oil people are part of these conversations to the extent that they are also committing to change then by all means. It is better to get them inside the tent than to have them outside the tent," Sinha, chairman and CEO of ReNew Power, told Reuters, saying that inclusion should not lead to "sabotage".

© Reuters. Climate activists display a banner during a protest ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, January 15, 2023. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Rising interest rates have made it harder for renewable energy developments to attract financing, giving traditional players with deep pockets a competitive advantage.

As delegates began to arrive in Davos, Debt for Climate activists protested at a private airport in eastern Switzerland, which they said would be used by some WEF attendees, and issued a statement calling for foreign debts of poorer countries to be cancelled in order to accelerate the global energy transition.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.