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ExxonMobil Releases Climate Impact Report

Energy
Exxon refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Gary Jones / Flickr

World demand for oil could dip substantially by 2040 if policies to curb warming are aggressively implemented, ExxonMobil said in a climate-impact analysis released Friday.

The oil giant's shareholders, including financial giants BlackRock and Vanguard, backed a proposal last year requiring Exxon to provide analysis of how climate policies will impact its bottom line in an increasingly warming world.


The analysis paints a mostly rosy future for the oil and gas industry, saying that even aggressive climate policy poses "little risk" to the company. However, the report does not address the multiple lawsuits facing Exxon and other fossil fuel giants, while some of the company's analysis—including its predictions for the number of electric vehicles on the road by 2040 and the assumption that carbon capture technologies will allow the continued use of fossil fuels—has been challenged by experts.

As reported by the New York Times:

"Some climate campaigners were unimpressed with Exxon's climate analysis. 'The range of risks that Exxon faces if climate action is taken is far deeper than what's being presented here,' said Adam Scott, a senior adviser at Oil Change International, an energy research and advocacy group.

He and others pointed out that Exxon, for instance, has assumed the development of technologies such as carbon capture that would allow the use of fossil fuels to continue with lower emissions. Also, Exxon didn't address what might happen if countries agreed to make considerably more aggressive cuts designed to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, as urged by the Paris agreement ...

'ExxonMobil's own analysis assumes the world will continue to burn through oil and gas to drive its profits, keeping us on a path toward global temperatures rising well above the 2 degree Celsius threshold' said Kathy Mulvey, climate accountability manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists."

For a deeper dive:

New York Times, FT, Reuters, AP, Axios, Quartz, The Hill

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