The major US oil company ExxonMobil reportedly wants to reach far-reaching climate targets before the end of the year. As a result, net CO2 emissions should be zero by 2050, according to the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal.
This would make one of the largest oil companies in the world follow European competitors Shell and BP, who already made such a promise last year.
ExxonMobil director Darren Woods said of his competitors’ plans that it lacked concrete plans and was nothing more than a beauty pageant. He also believed that reducing one company would lead to more emissions at another producer because the demand simply remains.
No such intention was forthcoming from the American group. However, it seems that the joining of three climate activists on the board will cause a policy change. Shareholders also voted in favour of a motion for tougher climate targets earlier this year. Several senior executives are now said to be convinced of the need, and major shareholders have threatened that the lack of climate policy would lead to further alienation among investors.
What is now being considered is to reduce the emissions of gases from its own activities to zero. This, therefore, does not influence the emissions that Exxon’s products cause, such as gasoline that goes into cars. The plan also concerns the company’s net emissions. This means that emissions can be offset by measures that remove greenhouse gases from the air.
The also large American oil group Chevron has not yet commented on targets for net-zero emissions.