The leaders of the world's top oil and gas companies meet in Paris ahead of the December climate change conference, as the CEO of Total says ''the bad guys are part of the solution.'' But as Kirsty Basset reports, they failed to agree on a carbon pricing system.
Between them, these men lead companies responsible for nearly 20 per cent of the world's oil and gas output. At an unprecedented news conference, executives from eight companies spoke out ahead of the U.N. climate talks in December. Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTAL CEO, PATRICK POUYANNE, SAYING: "It's not a question to be a bad guy or a good guy. I think in other words it's not black and white. And I'm fully convinced that for this climate change, if we are all serious, all energy companies with a strong human capacity, strong technology capacities, strong financial capacities, are clearly part of the solution. If we don't step on this issue, nothing will move or very little will move. So it's better to see us as positive rather than to fight against us." A sentiment shared by IG Analyst Alastair McCaig. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG MARKET ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "Undoubtedly they are part of the problem. But inasmuch they will be part of the solution too." The oil and gas executives recognise that current greenhouse gas levels are inconsistent with a goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees over pre-industrial times. They made some progress - promising to limit gas flaring at refineries. But they stopped short of outlining goals to cut their own emissions - or put a price on carbon. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG MARKET ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "The long-term business models of these companies will ensure that they aren't just wanting to be seen to be doing something about it ... Undoubtedly they will realise their business models will need to change." Oil is expected to remain the dominant energy source until 2040.