Jan 25, 2022 - Business

Irving-based ExxonMobil pledges to go net-zero by 2050

An ExxonMobil oil refiner in Baton Rouge.
An ExxonMobil oil refiner in Baton Rouge. Photo: Barry Lewis/InPictures via Getty Images

ExxonMobil has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from all of its operations by 2050, a step the company says is in line with the Paris Agreement.

Why it matters: Some investors and environmental activists have pressured the Irving-based oil giant to do more to reduce its emissions and address its contributions to climate change.

Details: ExxonMobil released a report last week detailing its net-zero goal and pledging to invest $15 billion in “lower-emission initiatives.”

  • The company says its latest goal adds to its current plan to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 2030 in the Permian Basin, which spans west Texas and southeast New Mexico.

Yes, but: The company’s goal does not apply to the carbon dioxide released by drivers and other fuel customers.

  • Exxon reported 112 million metric tons of emissions from its operations in 2020, compared to 650 million metric tons from petroleum sales, per the Washington Post.

What they’re saying: CEO Darren Woods has said he and other Exxon executives worry about the future and are focused on helping the world convert to a different energy system.

  • "We’ve got to transition to a lower emissions energy system, one that has less carbon in it. I accept that as a challenge and a need," Woods said in November during an online summit with the New York Times.

The other side: Environmental advocates say the oil company’s goal doesn’t go far enough, and the company is still expanding its production in the Permian Basin.

  • "They got pressure from their shareholders. They’re getting pressure from society. They’re releasing this statement to greenwash," Michael Lewis, a clean air and water advocate for Environment Texas, tells Axios.
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