3. Exxon resists calls for big climate pledges
Exxon CEO Darren Woods has put quite an exclamation point on something we wrote about earlier this week: U.S.-based oil majors aren't getting into an arms race with European rivals over long-term climate ambition.
Driving the news: 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.