The world’s largest oil companies gathered in New York City on Monday [September 23, 2019]. At the same time, global leaders met at the UN Climate Summit.
Executives from thirteen fossil fuel companies talked about how to defend their industry as countries around the world planned to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
The chief executive of the sustainability-focused think tank based in Colorado, Jules Kortenhorst, was there for the conversation among oil executives. He talked to Colorado Public Radio climate reporter Sam Brasch about being in New York, talking to leaders in the fossil fuel industry during the climate summit.
Kortenhorst: In the end, they have to face the brutal facts. It’s both their license to operate and their investors that are at risk if they don’t make this transition. That means that they will have to slow down, rapidly their investments in fossil fuels, they should stop the exploration for new reserves. But that would mean that by the middle of the century they will essentially disappear.
Or alternatively they have to shift their business from fossil fuels to renewable and sustainable technologies that provide energy for all over the long haul.
Brasch: How confident are you that, that can happen and these companies can be part of the effort to combat climate change?
Kortenhorst: My prediction is that some of these companies will be able to do that. They’ll have the foresight and the courage to make that transition and that most others will actually come too late to the party and will not be part of the energy future.