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Oxfam slams E.ON and Shell on emissions

Oxfam has called for the UK government and leading businesses take the lead in fighting climate change by steering the UK towards a low-carbon future.

In a report, released this week, Oxfam said the UK must turn away from high polluting policies and projects that would jeopardise the UK’s carbon emissions targets and threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of poor people around the world.

Forecast for Tomorrow exposes a storm of competing interests, disjointed government policies and projects by powerful companies such as E.ON and Shell that would contribute to the UK pushing global emissions to dangerous levels for the world and catastrophic levels for the poor.

Oxfam CEO Barbara Stocking said:

“The UK has been playing a pivotal role in trying to get a global climate deal in place but we have to get our own house in order and companies like E.ON and Shell must reconsider their potentially destructive plans. Strong decisions in boardrooms and Whitehall must be made over the next few months to ensure that we meet the challenges of climate change and begin to give the people we work with the chance for a better flood and famine free future.”

The report claims that if E.ON is allowed to build the Kingsnorth coal plant, its annual emissions would be seven million tonnes, which is more than the combined output of 30 developing countries.

Oxfam also revealed that Shell plans to treble its investment by 2015 in unconventional oil sources such as those from Canada’s oil sands. These sources are three times more polluting to produce. Oxfam says that going ahead with these plans would send a strong message to other countries that new dirty fossil fuels are acceptable, which would derail attempts to combat global warming at an international level.

Oxfam called for the government to strengthen targets in the UK Climate Change Bill for at least 80 per cent cuts of all greenhouse gas emissions, seal a 20 per cent renewable energy target for 2020 in the EU’s energy bill, reject plans for a coal-fired plant at Kingsnorth and drop biofuel targets in transport following their links to food shortages.

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