Equinor to invest in tropical forest protection

Equinor is ready to invest in the protection of tropical forest as soon as a well-functioning market is in place for the private sector. This will be a supplement to the company’s own climate actions. The company underlines its strong commitment to the Paris Agreement, and points out the need for more cooperation between governments and the industry.

“The most important climate actions for Equinor will still be reduction of emissions from our oil and gas production and considerable growth in renewables. But to reduce human-induced climate change we must all do more. That is why we want to also invest in the protection of tropical forest, one of the most important and effective climate actions,” says Eldar Sætre, CEO of Equinor. Equinor has set clear and ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production. Most of the emissions are subject to carbon tax and EU’s emission trading system.

Equinor is now preparing investments in reduced deforestation corresponding to the emissions from the company’s volumes from operated production in areas where there is no price on CO2.

Emissions from this operated production were slightly below 1 million tonnes in 2017. This underlines Equinor’s support for a global price on carbon.

“Investments in the protection of tropical forest may have a triple positive effect. Firstly, we help prevent deforestation, which we know is vital to reaching the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. Secondly, we voluntarily put a price on our own greenhouse gas emissions in areas with no current carbon pricing. Thirdly, we contribute to the development of an international market, enabling us and other companies to invest in the protection of tropical forest,” says Sætre.

The message of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that everyone must do more to combat climate change and reduce its consequences. Protection of forests and lands could provide up to one third of the world’s climate solution. In addition to being an efficient climate measure, the protection of tropical forest also preserves biodiversity and improves the conditions for people living there. In line with the UN’s Climate Convention, Norway has initiated a major climate and forest initiative. Since 2008 Norway has contributed around NOK 23 billion to measures reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (REDD+) and will pursue this effort up to 2030.

Equinor wants to help develop a robust market for private sector, ensuring responsible environmental and social protection of tropical forest. Further details about the timeline and scope for Equinor’s investments will be shared when there is more clarity on the market development.

Equinor is today hosting the Autumn Conference in cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry for Petroleum and Energy and the International Energy Agency (IEA) at Det Norske Teateret.

Source: Equinor press release

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