Earlier this year, oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell assessed the climate lobbying done by trade associations they have been involved with, and publicly quit a handful of high-profile industry groups campaigning to undermine regulations to reduce greenhouse gases.
The effort was part of a vow to increase corporate transparency and bring planet-heating emissions to net zero over the next few decades.
But Shell and BP ― the second- and fourth-largest oil companies by revenue last year ― are still active members of at least eight trade organisations lobbying against climate measures in the United States and Australia, an Unearthed and HuffPost investigation has found. These groups were not disclosed in the public reviews.
Reviews of leaked and publicly available documents show those groups are part of the sprawling network of state and regional trade associations that have, in at least one case, boasted about quashing the very carbon-reduction policies the oil giants publicly claim to support.
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The companies said they either hoped to reform the trade groups, including the eight identified here, of which they are still part, or planned to review their membership going forward. But both BP and Shell refused to disclose full lists of trade associations where they have ongoing involvement.
“Our approach is that where policy differences arise, we will seek to influence from within ― and this may take time,” BP said in a statement. “If we reach an impasse, we will be transparent in publicly stating our differences. And on major issues, if our views and those of an association...