ExxonMobil Sets New Emissions Reduction Plan
US supermajor ExxonMobil, considered by critics a laggard in its response to climate change, said December 14 it would make greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions over the next five years that would support the goals of the Paris agreement.
Under the plan, the company intends to reduce the intensity of its upstream emissions by 15-20%, cut methane intensity by 40-50% and reduce flaring intensity by 35-45%, all by 2025.
It aims to reach industry-leading GHG performance across all its businesses by 2030, eliminate routine flaring by 2030 and provide Scope 3 emissions beginning in 2021. And it expects to meet its methane and flaring reduction goals – set at 15% and 25% below 2016 levels, respectively, in 2018 – for 2020.
“These meaningful near-term emission reductions result from our ongoing business planning process as we work towards industry-leading greenhouse gas performance across all our business lines,” CEO Darren Woods said. “We respect and support society’s ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and continue to advocate for policies that promote cost-effective, market-based solutions to address the risks of climate change.”
Although ExxonMobil said it would report Scope 3 emissions annually starting in 2021, it cautioned that merely reporting the emissions would not incent emitters to make reductions.
“Meaningful decreases in global greenhouse gas emissions will require changes in society’s energy choices coupled with the development and deployment of affordable lower-emission technologies,” it said.
In addition to the emission reduction initiatives, ExxonMobil said it would continue to make investments in lower-emission technologies, like carbon capture, manufacturing efficiencies and advanced biofuels. It intends to increase cogeneration capacity at its manufacturing facilities (such investments have totaled $3bn since 2000), continue to support “sound policies” that put a price on carbon and account for environmental performance as part of its executive compensation protocols.