A new study has said that large oil firms’ climate claims are greenwashing.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, accused ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP, of greenwashing as their climate claims don’t match their actions.

Together, these oil companies account for 10% of carbon emissions.

Prof Gregory Trencher, at Kyoto University in Japan, said: “Until there is very concrete progress, we have every reason to be very sceptical about claims to be moving in a green direction.”

“If they were moving away from fossil fuels we would expect to see, for example, declines in exploration activity, fossil fuel production, and sales and profit from fossil fuels. But if anything, we find evidence of the reverse happening.”

“Recent pledges look very nice and they’re getting a lot of people excited, but we have to put these in the context of company history of actions. It’s like a very naughty schoolboy telling the teacher ‘I promise to do all my homework next week’, but the student has never worked hard.”

A spokesperson for ExxonMobil responded and said: “The move to a lower emission future requires multiple solutions that can be implemented at scale. We plan to play a leading role in the energy transition, while retaining investment flexibility across a portfolio of evolving opportunities, including for example carbon capture, hydrogen and biofuels, to maximise shareholder returns.”