A series of missives from United Nations human rights special procedures have been dispatched to oil conglomerate Saudi Aramco and its financial supporters, questioning their purported role in exacerbating climate change-related adverse effects on human rights. The cache of correspondence was unveiled on a United Nations human rights special procedures website, meticulously timed for release exactly two months post-dispatch.
The letters divulged that United Nations experts have been apprised of information regarding “Saudi Aramco’s business activities … which are adversely impacting the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change.”
The allegations leveled against Aramco encompass allegations of “sustained crude oil production, exploration for further oil and gas reserves, expansion into fossil fuel gas, and manipulation of information,” as stipulated in the letters.
“These activities bear deleterious consequences on the fulfillment of the human entitlement to a pristine, salubrious, and sustainable environment,” they underscored.
Among the experts partaking in this initiative were the United Nations working group on human rights and transnational corporations, in conjunction with UN special rapporteurs responsible for climate change and rights, a hygienic and sustainable environment, the administration of perilous substances, and potable water and sanitation.
The UN experts further contended that Aramco’s activities ostensibly run counter to the mandates, commitments, and obligations stipulated by the Paris Agreement on climate change, which was forged in 2015, and ambitiously aspired to constrain global temperature escalation to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The “largest emitter” declaration was also proffered by the UN experts, who alleged that the said activities were underwritten by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, as well as an assemblage of 11 prominent international banking institutions, investment banks, and corporations, all of which were recipients of analogous letters.
The communications were likewise disseminated to the domiciliary states of these entities, encompassing Britain, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. A selection of these letters was unveiled to the public over the weekend.
Accentuating that fossil fuels are culpable for over 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the letters referenced reports which asseverate that more than half of such emissions could be attributively linked to 25 fossil fuel entities, with Saudi Aramco asserting itself as the preeminent greenhouse gas discharger.
Ergo, it is posited that Saudi Aramco has already made a substantial contribution to adverse climate change-related repercussions through its historical emissions.
The communication addressed Aramco, eliciting responses on 10 specific points within a 60-day timeframe, after which both the missive and any ensuing response would be released to the public domain.
Notably, as of the early hours of Sunday, no response from Aramco was discernible on the UN human rights special procedures website.
The predominantly state-owned Aramco is effectuating investments to elevate national production capacity to 13 million barrels per day by 2027, a strategy undertaken while amassing record profits totaling $161.1 billion in the previous year.
Aramco is quintessentially the primary revenue source for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s comprehensive Vision 2030 reform campaign, which endeavors to pivot the economy away from fossil fuel dependency.