Aug 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Exxon reportedly weighs 2050 net-zero carbon pledge

Signage at an Exxon Mobil gas station in El Cerrito, California

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Exxon is "considering a pledge to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050."

Why it matters: It would be a major shift for Exxon, the U.S.-based multinational giant, which to date has opposed the long-term targets embraced by European giants like Shell and BP.

The big picture: It comes as Exxon — and the industry as a whole — faces growing pressure to act more aggressively on climate change.

Catch up fast: Exxon has vowed to expand activities around carbon capture and hydrogen, but overall has not been seeking to diversify as widely as European majors (though fossil fuels remain the dominant business for majors on both sides of the Atlantic).

Where it stands: Here's a little more via the WSJ's reporting based on "people familiar with the matter"...

  • "The Irving, Texas, company hasn’t made a final decision on a net-zero pledge...It plans to unveil a series of strategic moves on environmental and other issues before the end of the year, the people said."

What they're saying: Exxon, in a statement to the WSJ and Axios, said it would not comment on internal discussions. But spokesman Casey Norton also Exxon is "working to decarbonize high-emitting sectors through our new Low Carbons Solutions business and our ongoing investments to develop and deploy the technologies that will help society achieve a net zero future."

  • He said Exxon's cutting near-term emissions, citing their 2025 targets unveiled late last year.

Go deeper: Big Oil's climate earthquake

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