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Photo: Ken Jack/Getty Images

Exxon CEO Darren Woods put quite an exclamation point on the idea that U.S.-based oil majors aren't getting into an arms race with European rivals over long-term climate ambition.

What he's saying: Woods defended the company's approach at yesterday's investor day in New York, telling analysts that Exxon looks at the topic on a "global scale" rather than engaging in a "beauty match."

  • "Individual companies hitting targets and then selling assets to another company so that their portfolio has a different carbon intensity has not solved the problem for the world," he said, noting, “This is not a company challenge, this is a global challenge."
  • "We are very focused on trying to make sure we are talking about this holistically and actually taking steps to solve the problem for society as a whole and not to try and get into a beauty match, beauty competition around who’s sheet looks like what."

Why it matters: The comments come as multinational giants headquartered in Europe have recently expanded their longer-term pledges, including BP's recent pledge to become a "net-zero" company by 2050.

  • Big European players like Equinor, BP, Shell and Eni are also setting targets around Scope 3 emissions (that is, emissions from the use of their products in the economy), which is something Exxon and U.S.-based rival Chevron have not done.

The big picture: Woods and other officials defended Exxon's approach, citing projections of rising oil-and-gas demand for decades while highlighting their investments in low-carbon energy R&D in areas like algae-based biofuels and carbon capture.

  • Woods also said the company is on track to meet its target of a 15% cut in its methane emissions and a 25% cut in gas flaring this year compared to 2016 levels.

The other side: Edward Mason, head of responsible investment of the Church Commissioners for England, blasted Woods' comments about Exxon's climate posture.

  • He said via Twitter that Exxon is "pursuing an ugly strategy — ugly ethically & ugly financially — so it has no place at a beauty parade." The tweet on his personal feed also notes that Exxon's stock is at a 15-year low.
  • And Noah Brenner, the Houston bureau chief with Energy Intelligence, notes that Exxon "isn't being judged by activists — its being judged by investors."

Go deeper: The limits of Exxon's big legal victory on climate change

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

7 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.