One focus of BP’s annual general meeting today is the company’s plans for tar sands (aka oil sands), the heavy, emissions-intensive crude that is abundant in Canada. A campaign led by FairPensions is calling for more disclosure about the economic, financial and environmental reasoning behind both BP’s and Shell’s investments in oil sands projects.
Citi’s oil industry analysts have looked at many of the current and planned oil sands projects and given them a nod for carbon price risk — but not for emissions. That could be a problem, because campaigns like FairPensions’ one are making investors wary of putting money into companies perceived as dirty – CalPers, the US’s largest public pension fund, has already joined the tar sands campaign.
One of the key controversies over the hacked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit was that the scientists’ apparent reluctance to publicly share data and methodologies. One of the reasons they gave was that some of their work used data from other countries’ meteorological agencies, which they did not have permission to share.
Permission to share some of that data has since been gained, leading to its publication on the UK Met Office’s website, but some countries have either refused or not replied.
So it was interesting to see this point in the conclusions of the Oxburgh Report‘s conclusions:
It was pointed out that since UK government adopted a policy that resulted in charging for access to data sets collected by government agencies, other countries have followed suit impeding the flow of processed and raw data to and between researchers. This is unfortunate and seems inconsistent with policies of open access to data promoted elsewhere in government.
The latest round of news about the emails stolen from the CRU servers last year will probably do little to change anyone’s views on the increasingly polarised debate over climate science.
First, as the FT reports, UK police are questioning those who made FOI requests about the CRU’s data:
The Financial Times has learnt that everybody who made a request to the university’s climate research unit under Freedom of Information rules ahead of the alleged hacking is being approached by officers searching for the culprits.
While perhaps being a reminder of the fact that the ‘climategate’ emails were illegally obtained, some will no doubt decry it as overkill.
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