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Big Oil’s climate targets vary widely

Norway’s Equinor plans to cut the intensity of each unit of energy it produces by half by 2050, including emissions from the end-use of its products also known as Scope 3, it said on Thursday.

These targets bring it in line with other majors such as Royal Dutch Shell but fall short of commitments made by Spain’s Repsol, which are absolute emissions targets rather than intensity-based ambitions.

Here is an overview of the various self-imposed greenhouse gas reduction targets and ambitions set by the world’s big oil and gas companies, which investors and analysts say are difficult to compare.

Scope 1 refers to emissions from a company’s direct operations, such as a diesel generator on an offshore platform.

Scope 2 are emissions from the power a company uses for its operations, such as gas-powered electricity purchased.

Scope 3 includes emissions from products sold, such as gasoline sold at petrol stations or jet fuel sold to an airline.

Intensity-based targets measure the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy or barrel of oil and gas produced. That means that absolute emissions can rise with growing production, even if the headline intensity metric falls.

GHG stands for greenhouse gases, such as methane or carbon dioxide.

BOE stands for barrels of oil equivalent.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla and Ron Bousso; Editing by Mark Potter and Edmund Blair)

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