Sep 14, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Chevron vows big increase in low-carbon spending

Illustration of plants sprouting from an oil barrel

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Chevron is pledging to invest $10 billion through 2028 in a push to expand renewable fuels and gas, hydrogen and carbon capture.

Driving the news: The oil giant this morning announced specific targets for fuels production and CO2 capture levels by 2030.

  • It pledged to reach 100,000 barrels per day of renewable fuels including renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels.
  • Achieve 150,000 tonnes per year of hydrogen production.
  • Capture or offsetting 25 million tonnes per year of CO2.
  • The $10 billion, which Chevron called triple its prior plans, includes $2 billion to lower the emissions intensity of its operations, it said.

The big picture: The company said it's focused on fuels that help lower emissions from sectors that are hard to electrify, like aviation and heavy industry.

Why it matters: Oil giants face increasing pressure from investors and activists to do far more on climate change.

  • Advocates want far tougher steps that move the companies away from their dominant carbon-emitting oil-and-gas businesses, and the new pledges are unlikely to significantly ease that criticism or pressure.

Catch up fast: Chevron in March announced new targets for cutting emissions intensity — that is, per unit of output — and has been striking new deals and partnerships on alternative fuels and climate.

  • But the company and its peer Exxon have so far eschewed the long-term "net zero" pledges popular among European majors.

What they're saying: Andrew Logan, of the sustainable investment advocacy group Ceres, said in an email, "[A]t a quick glance this looks like a step forward, but a relatively modest step when what is needed is a giant leap."

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