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Occidental latest oil producer to issue climate report

Occidental Petroleum, one of the biggest producers in Texas’ Permian basin, quietly issued its first-ever climate change report earlier this month.

Why it matters: Occidental’s report is the latest from a string of fossil-fuel companies responding to resolutions pushed last year by investors requiring more disclosure about what companies are doing to prepare for a carbon-constrained future. Occidental stood out last year because its measure was both the first to pass and saw record votes in support.

Gritty details:

  • Much of the report is devoted to explaining how its decades-long practice of using carbon to extract oil will help it cut carbon emissions. Occidental mostly uses naturally occurring carbon, but the company anticipates using more human-captured carbon with the passage of tax credits incentivizing carbon-capture technologies.
  • It also finds that its oil resources won’t be impacted in a world that sees carbon emissions reduced to a level consistent with keeping Earth’s temperature from rising two degrees Celsius, a common benchmark in these shareholder resolutions that also is driving the 2015 Paris climate deal.

What we’re hearing:

“Importantly, the company has coupled the release of this report to a number of forward-looking commitments, including regularly re-evaluating its climate strategy with board oversight, using more rigorous scenarios, and embedding a carbon cost in the capital allocation process.”
— Andrew Logan, director of oil and gas, Ceres
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