Mar 9, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Chevron vows new emissions intensity cuts

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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Chevron Corp. on Tuesday unveiled its latest plans to curb emissions and invest in low-carbon technology.

Driving the news: The company's new report on its climate posture includes ...

  • New targets for cutting emissions intensity — that is, emissions per unit of output.
  • It's pledging a CO2 reduction of 40% by 2028 from 2016 levels for oil production; 26% lower CO2 intensity from gas production; 53% less intensity of methane emissions; and an end to "routine" methane flaring by 2030.
  • Plans to invest $2 billion cumulatively through 2028 on various CO2 reduction projects, and $750 million through 2028 on renewables projects and offsets.
  • That's in addition to the recently announced $300 million for its in-house VC arm's next fund.

Where it stands: Chevron's new targets follow 2023 goals for emissions intensity cuts set in 2019. Chevron has already exceeded those targets, a spokesman said.

  • But it's worth remembering that cutting emissions intensity does not guarantee that absolute emissions levels decline.

Why it matters: Chevron's plans come amid growing pressure on U.S.-based oil giants from investors, activists and policymakers to get more active on climate.

  • "We know our stakeholders’ expectations on climate change are increasing, and we are committed to helping achieve a lower-carbon future," Ronald Sugar, the lead director on Chevron's board, said in a preface to the report.

Yes, but: Europe's oil giants are diversifying more aggressively than their U.S. peers.

  • For instance, BP plans to spend $3-$4 billion annually by 2025 on renewable projects and other low-carbon development.

What's next: Chevron plans to set keep setting emissions targets in five-year increments, which it notes is consistent with five-year "stocktakes" of governments efforts under the Paris Agreement.

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