February 8, 2019 Read More →

Latest ExxonMobil Climate Report Continues to Minimize the Risks

Climate Liability News:

In a bid to reassure its shareholders, ExxonMobil suggested in its latest climate risks report that it is on its way to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. But the oil giant fell short of proposing a plan for tackling climate change, emboldening the skepticism of climate scientists and energy experts who say the company is dispensing hollow promises.

In a report titled “2019 Energy and Carbon Summary” published this week, Exxon touted its support for the Paris Climate Agreement, and a carbon tax. It also emphasized its joining last year of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), an organization representing 13 of the world’s largest oil and gas producers that vows to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which has not laid out a specific strategy on how to achieve such reductions.

“They (Exxon) face a lot of risk, climate is just one of them. They’re not taking it seriously as they say,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an organization researching financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment

“When they’re saying, ‘we’re doing this and we’re doing that’ they’re also spending the most money on more drilling than any other company in the world,” he said.

The report also avoided mentioning the current wave of climate liability suits targeting the company, as well as the lawsuit filed by the New York State attorney general accusing it of defrauding investors over climate risks. Exxon has also failed to block Massachusetts’ investigation into consumer fraud and faces increasing political scrutiny from countries around the world, including from the European Union, which has been leading the world in targeting emissions.

Sanzillo, whose organization’s mission is to facilitate the transition from a fossil fuel economy to an environmentally sustainable one, acknowledged some Exxon initiatives focusing on renewable energy, in particular biofuels, that were mentioned in the report.

But the company still argues that the CO2 emissions reduction aimed for in the Paris Agreement is not realistically achievable, and that risks related to climate change will not affect the company, he said.

“These are arguments from a declining company with a very weak investor rationale,” Sanzillo said.

“They say, ‘Yes, there’s going to be climate change, and things are changing rather rapidly, but it isn’t going to affect our company.’”

Climate Liability News: Latest ExxonMobil Climate Report Continues to Minimize the Risks

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