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As a reader of this newsletter, you will know that fossil fuel company claims to be 'net zero' do not stack up.

Good to see that courts and regulators are catching up with them.

This week we're fired up about
A clarification, in the last Fired Up I inferred that Andrew Bolt had referenced a draft of the IPCC report on Sky News Australia. Mr Bolt referenced the full IPCC report, some of which was still marked 'draft', because of the rush to have it published. Having said that, he still misrepresented the report's contents.

Belinda Noble
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The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is taking Santos to court over its 'clean energy' and 'net zero' claims. It's the first case internationally to challenge a company's sustainability messaging for being misleading rather than just inadequate.

Santos reckons its going to reach net zero by 2040, while increasing its extraction of gas and opening vast new basins across the country. These claims are largely based on the hope of using carbon capture and storage (CCS) and blue hydrogen. Unfortunately, CCS is yet to work properly and one study just found that blue hydrogen produces 20% more greenhouse gases than normal gas.

Santos, like many gas producers and retailers, also claims it is 'providing clean energy'.

Both these claims from Santos' 2020 Annual Report are the subject of the case.

The ACCR also asks the court to grant an injunction requiring "Santos to correct the record publicly on these statements, and prohibit Santos from engaging in similar misleading or deceptive conduct in the future."

Hopefully this would extend to Santos' advertising and other grand claims.


Meanwhile in the Netherlands, a promotion by Royal Dutch Shell has been found to be misleading.

Shell was offering to offset the greenhouse gas pollution of petrol for customers who paid one extra cent (Euro) per litre.

The national advertising watchdog found consumers could be mislead into thinking their fuel had no carbon footprint. In addition, Shell could not prove the emissions were being offset.

According to Bloomberg, the company doubled-down and will appeal, saying,

"Shell takes its responsibilities as an advertiser extremely seriously. Shell’s ‘Drive CO2 Neutral’ program is a genuine and important initiative to give consumers the option to offset CO2-emissions associated with the fuel they purchase.”

1. Chris Jackson for quitting as the head of the UK's hydrogen industry body because of its support for blue, or fossil, hydrogen. On LinkedIn he wrote:

"I believe passionately that I would be betraying future generations by remaining silent on that fact that blue hydrogen is at best an expensive distraction, and at worst a lock-in for continued fossil fuel use that guarantees we will fail to meet our decarbonisation goals"

2. Former CSIRO scientist, Nick, for protesting with Extinction Rebellion and making a stand at the age of 77.

3. The Climate Leadership Council for suspending Exxon as a member after an Exxon lobbyist revealed a price on carbon was just a 'talking point' that was never going to happen. Exxon was a founding member of the group.

4. Greenwatch for using AI to monitor the truthfulness of company's carbon claims.

5. Front Runners for their new campaign, The Cool Down, signing up hundreds of sports people for climate action.
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