The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), one of the key organizations focused on aligning corporate environmental sustainability action with the global goals of limiting climate change announced today that it will on longer accept commitments or validate targets from fossil fuel companies, and will remove those with previous commitments, as it looks to develop peer reviewed oil and gas target setting methodologies.

In a statement announcing the move, the organization said that “the SBTi has updated its fossil fuel policy and will no longer accept commitments or validate targets from fossil fuel companies,” but noted that “companies may be reinstated following further development of the fossil fuel sector project.”

The new policy follows the release earlier this year by SBTi of its action plan for 2022, which included plans to expand its sector specific guidelines for additional hard-to-decarbonize sectors. SBTi has issued an RFP for a consultant to facilitate a panel of independent external experts to complete a review of the oil and gas methods and guidance.

SBTi outlined criteria for companies that will no longer be able to join the initiative, as the methodologies as being developed, which includes “companies with any level of direct involvement in exploration, extraction, mining and/or production of oil, natural gas, coal or other fossil fuels, irrespective of percentage revenue generated by these activities,” such as integrated oil & gas, exploration & production, and refining & marketing companies, as well as oil products distributors, and gas distributors and retailers, among others. The initiative will continue to accept commitments from companies that derive less than half of sales from the sale, transmission and distribution of fossil fuels, companies with less than 5% of revenue from fossil fuel assets for extraction activities with commercial purposes, and electric utilities that mine coal for their own power generation.