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VANCOUVER SUN: Oil, gas companies failing to reduce emissions

BY GORDON HAMILTON

GREENHOUSE GASES Canadian oil and gas companies have failed to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, putting themselves and their investors at risk of the the kind of eco- campaigns that targeted forest companies or the multi- billion- dollar lawsuits launched against tobacco companies, according to a new sustainability report.

Head in the Oil Sands, a 25- page report by the $ 2.2- billion Ethical Funds Company, reveals that only three of 50 publicly traded oil and gas companies tracked by the fund have decreased greenhouse gas emissions while increasing production. Only seven are factoring the cost of carbon into capital allocation decisions. All 50 were Canadian companies except two, Royal Dutch Shell and BP plc.

“ Action plans to reduce emissions are the exception, not the rule,” the report states.

It calls on the oil and gas industry “ to accept its responsibility and respond appropriately to this historic moment.”

The three companies singled out for cutting emissions are BP plc, Canadian Natural Resources, and Talisman Energy.

Shell Canada, Royal Dutch Shell, Suncor and BP are also singled out for having established management systems and strategies to function in a carbonrestricted environment. They are also investing in renewable energy and have high levels of transparency.

Income trusts tended to show the poorest results.

Ethical Funds vice- president Bob Walker said in an interview that environmental issues are at the top of the agenda for the 170,00 investors who hold units in the fund, but all investors are now starting to understand the societal risks that climate change poses.

“ There’s a whole host of reasons why companies need to pay attention to these issues and why investors who hold these companies in their portfolios also need

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