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The Times: ‘Protect the Earth as well as profits’

Monday 28 January 2008

LONDON BP and Shell have been accused of using environmentally friendly initiatives as window dressing by Tony Juniper, the departing director of Friends of the Earth (Lewis Smith writes).

Mr Juniper said that the heads of the oil companies were hamstrung by the need to maximise dividends to investors, and that companies must have as much of an obligation to protect the environment as they have to maximise dividends.

He said that Lord Browne of Madingley, when chief executive, had promised to take BP into a new era of sustainability with its Beyond Petroleum campaign, which Mr Juniper helped to initiate, yet it soon became clear that oil and gas exploration would soak up the majority of investment.

Shell and BP also reduced their involvement with renewable energy such as wind farms and solar power. Richard Branson was criticised too for his promise to promote biofuels for trains and aircraft despite their restricted potential for helping to combat climate change.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3261417.ece

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