Last week, as climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nations Climate Action Summit, invited leaders from major environmental groups spent their day listening to the leaders of fossil fuel companies discuss how they want to respond to the climate crisis.
Depending on which room you were in, you would have heard two very different messages.
Thunberg’s widely watched speech evoked the urgency of acting on climate change.
“People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing,” Thunberg told the UN summit. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.”
Just blocks away, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), whose members include oil giants like ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, Saudi Aramco, and BP, was meeting with representatives from large environmental organizations, talking about ways to moderately reduce greenhouse gas pollution while continuing business as usual.
The OGCI had planned a busy schedule for organizations like the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Wildlife Federation, according to a draft planning document from the event obtained by DeSmog.
The draft, dated August 21, shows that a “breakfast and portfolio review” would start the day, hosted by the CEO of oil giant BP, Bob Dudley, and Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of the OGCI Climate Investments.
The full day of sessions, preceded by an invitation-only forum the night before, would include CEOs of global oil majors speaking alongside Mark Brownstein, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF); Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy; and Collin O’Mara, head of the National Wildlife “Foundation,” the draft agenda said (O’Mara heads the National Wildlife Federation).
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