As reported earlier, Exxon pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions from its global operations by 2050.
In a statement, Exxon’s Chairman and CEO, Darren Woods, “We are developing comprehensive roadmaps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operated assets around the world.”
Woods went on to say, “Where we are not the operator, we are working with our partners to achieve similar emission-reduction results.”
Exxon’s plans to reduce carbon emissions.
In addition to net-zero global operations by 2050, Exxon has promised:
- $15 billion towards reducing GHG emissions over the next six years.
- Better processes to reduce methane gas leakage.
- To reach net-zero within the U.S. Permian Basin shale field by 2030
Exxon also bid highest to obtain offshore properties to use for carbon sequestration.
Critics feel Exxon is not doing enough.
Exxon’s goal involves scope 1 and scope 2 targets. This includes oil, gas, and chemical production. So, these cuts do not apply to consumer emissions, which are scope 3.
Critics feel this puts Exxon behind competitors who are scope 3 focused.
Josh Eisenfield, corporate accountability communications manager with Earthworks, said that by not including scope 3 emissions, Exxon would be “pushing the blame off of themselves and onto consumers.”
Scope 3 emissions matter.
In 2020, 650 million tons of GHG emissions were from Exxon’s oil sales.
This would not be addressed under Exxon’s net-zero pledge.
However, Exxon is investing in carbon capture and storage, and the creation of hydrogen and biofuels. By doing so, Woods believes these fuels will be more accessible to consumers.
The need for action.
The fossil fuel industry accounts for over 36 billion tons of GHG emissions each year. Without more action, this number will rise.
In addition to new technologies, oil companies are using carbon credits to reduce their footprint. Some are even selling oil and gas as a bundle with offsets to create carbon-neutral oil as a short-term solution.
After Exxon’s announcement, its shares went up by 1.7 percent.