It’s no surprise that many of the world’s top oil-drilling companies—the likes of Chevron and Exxon Mobil—are also among the world’s largest recipients of government grants to support clean energy ventures, such as renewables.
The problem is that government grants are often given for things like renewable energy installations or energy efficiency measures, but they can often end up in the hands of some of the world’s largest oil companies—who are, well, oil companies. And as it stands today, many of the renewable energy industry’s biggest players—including wind and solar companies—are owned, or heavily subsidized by, oil companies.
It’s not just companies like Shell that are profiting off fossil fuels, and it’s not just oil companies. In 2014, the world employed more than 5 million people working in the oil, gas, and coal industries, according to research published in Global Environmental Change. That’s nearly a quarter of the world’s population of 738.4 billion.
And yet, the oil companies, who have the most to lose from a ban, have been slow to mobilize. That’s why the Oil Change International (OCI) is sponsoring a grassroots effort, called “We Are Not Fossil Fuel,” to gather signatures of people opposing Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean region.
“We are not Fossil Fuel” is a new initiative in response to the Shell application for exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean, which is the only Arctic body of water that Shell is currently permitted to reach through its existing Arctic pipeline network.
“Shell and the fossil fuel companies that do business with them are not interested in developing energy substitutes in our world because they profit from our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Ochoa, Executive Director of OCI. “Now is the time for all of us—all of us—to take a stand against the biggest threat to our planet, and that’s a ban on the exploitation of these incredible resources.”
The global coalition behind “We Are Not Fossil Fuel” includes the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, International Federation of the Phytoplankton and Tropical Fish Trade (IFPTR), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICC) and other environmental groups around the world, and includes representatives from nearly 200 countries.
If Shell does decide to apply for oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean, it would be one of the largest operations to go forward in the waters of the Arctic Ocean, but it also
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