A recent report shows how improving ESG often appears to be a matter of legal formalities and bookkeeping. Analysis of the data shows that the oil and gas companies sell their most polluting assets to other economic operators with less stringent oversight, writes Katerina Serada, SDG Hub: Center for Sustainable Economies and Innovation on Linkedin.
Analysis of 3,000 deals over five years reveals how flaring and emissions commitments disappear when tens of thousands of wells are passed to new owners. EDF analysts identified hundreds of cases in which upstream assets owned by top-tier global producers that have made public commitments to cut methane emissions, stop flaring and improve transparency were sold off to new, often obscure operators with no such obligations.
The question is how widespread is this practice, although legal, in other industries as it is tantamount disguising ESG results and misleading the public into thinking that polluting industries are really tackling the climate crisis.