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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This week is providing a rolling demonstration of the divide between U.S. and European-headquartered multinational oil giants when it comes to climate change.

Driving the news: Chevron CEO Mike Wirth yesterday made the case for their posture, which eschews the deep, long-term, emissions-cutting targets of companies like BP and Shell.

  • Chevron and ExxonMobil are also more cautious about spending on low-carbon technologies outside their core business than European majors.

What they're saying: “Certainly the European companies have made longer-term aspirational commitments," Wirth said yesterday at the company's annual meeting with analysts in New York.

  • "What we have done is given you things that are very tangible here and now that we are doing today,” Wirth said.
  • Wirth and other Chevron officials touted steps like near-term efforts to cut the emissions intensity of its oil production by 5%–10% by 2023.
  • "Right now for us, renewables create the most value when we integrate them into our existing operations, but we’re mindful of the opportunity for new business models," he said.

What's next: Exxon holds its annual investor day Thursday, where its approach — which shares more with Chevron than European majors — is bound to come up.

The big picture: The two U.S. giants' annual presentations come on the heels of fresh climate pledges by their rivals across the Atlantic.

  • BP last month pledged to become a "net-zero" emissions company by 2050, while last week Eni vowed an 80% cut in net emissions by then.
  • European majors are setting targets around "Scope 3" emissions, that is, the pollution from use of their products in the economy.
  • A good rundown of the plans comes via Reuters here.
  • Shell, Total, and BP have also withdrawn from some trade associations over differences on climate, something the U.S. counterparts are not doing.

Between the lines: A couple of things are worth noting here. One is that Exxon and Chevron have taken new or wider steps in recent years.

  • Examples include Chevron's investments, via its VC arm, in companies like ChargePoint and Carbon Engineering, and both majors joining the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative.
  • And when comparing them to the European majors, it's important to remember that while the European players have been more active, spending on low-carbon tech remains a small fraction of everyone's budget.

Go deeper: Big Oil lobby showing subtle shifts on climate change

Go deeper

14 mins ago - Health

FDA panel backs Merck's antiviral COVID pill

The Merck Cherokee Plant in Riverside, Pennsylvania. Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday voted 13-10 to endorse an antiviral pill developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to treat adults at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, despite concerns over its effectiveness and safety.

Why it matters: Oral antiviral drugs designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be key pandemic-fighting tools, if proven effective, especially as new variants emerge. If authorized, the Merck drug, known as molnupiravir, would be the first treatment of its kind to be made available in the United States.

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 6 wounded

Screengrab: CBSN

Three people dead and six others are wounded after a shooting at a high school in Michigan according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

Driving the news: The alleged shooter was a 15-year-old sophomore at Oxford High School and has been arrested, per police.

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.