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Exxon Vows To Reduce Emission Intensity

ExxonMobil plans to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from its global upstream operations by 2025, in support of the Paris Agreement, the U.S. supermajor said on Monday, days after it was criticized, again, by shareholders for lacking plans for the energy transition.  

ExxonMobil now aims to reduce the intensity of the greenhouse gas emissions from its operated upstream assets by 15 to 20 percent by 2025, compared to 2016 levels. Exxon’s methane intensity is targeted to drop by 40 to 50 percent, and flaring intensity to decline by 35 to 45 percent across its global operations.

“The emission reduction plans, which cover Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from operated assets, are projected to be consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” Exxon said in a statement.

Exxon will also begin providing Scope 3 emissions reports on an annual basis, but it said that “reporting of these indirect emissions does not ultimately incentivize reductions by the actual emitters.”

“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,” the supermajor said.

Exxon has drawn criticism from its investors, including the Church Commissioners for England and BlackRock, over what investors see as a lack of climate action and transparency in emissions reporting and oil price assumptions, while European majors have raced to announce net-zero pledges this year.

The new plan for emission intensity reduction is the result of months of analysis and includes input from shareholders, Exxon said.

Just last week, a new activist investor firm, Engine No. 1, which has the backing of California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)—which owns over $300 million in value of Exxon stock—sent a letter to Exxon’s board calling for the supermajor to change with the times and invest more in clean energy.

The Church Commissioners for England, an Exxon shareholder, supported Engine No. 1’s proposals, with Bess Joffe, Head of Responsible Investment, saying:

“Action is urgently needed for the company to improve its ability to create long-term sustainable value and pivot its strategy to support the energy transition.”

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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