Exxon Sets a 2050 Goal for Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions – The New York Times


“HOUSTON — Exxon Mobil, under increasing pressure from investors to address climate change, announced on Tuesday that it had the “ambition” to reach zero net greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 2050.

The oil company, the largest in the United States, still remains behind several of its major competitors in its public climate commitments.

Exxon said it had identified 150 modifications of its exploration and production practices to help reach its goals, including electrification of operations with energy from renewable sources. Initial steps will include elimination of the flaring and venting of methane, a byproduct of drilling that is a powerful greenhouse gas.”

“. . . Exxon’s targets include so-called Scope 1 emissions, which are produced directly by the company, and Scope 2 emissions from the generation of power that Exxon buys, such as electricity supplied by utilities.

But the new policies stop short of including Scope 3 emissions, which result from the combustion of fuels by drivers and other customers, as well as other companies along Exxon’s supply chain. The overwhelming majority of emissions linked to companies are Scope 3, and they are the hardest to control or compensate for.

European companies have begun to embrace commitments to Scope 3, which will require immense efforts, including reforestation, the capture and removal of carbon from operations, and technological advances such as fuels made from recycled carbon. Many of the companies are selling off hydrocarbon businesses and redirecting resources to renewable energy like solar and wind power.” . . . .

Shell, the largest European oil company, has set a 2050 target for net zero emissions that includes Scope 3, which it says accounts for over 90 percent of its emissions. Equinor, the Norwegian national oil company, has a similar target, as does BP, although it excluded its joint operations with Rosneft, a Russian company.