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January 19, 2022

ExxonMobil pledges net-zero emissions by 2050

The announcement follows rising investor pressure to respond to climate change and impose more ambitious emission-reduction targets.

By Scarlett Evans

ExxonMobil has announced its commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at its oil and gas operations, with a series of roadmaps on how to achieve this expected by the end of this year.  

The US supermajor’s latest pledge was laid out in its ‘Advancing Climate Solutions 2022 Progress Report’, and will be targeting Scope 1 and 2 emissions.  

“ExxonMobil is committed to playing a leading role in the energy transition, and Advancing Climate Solutions articulates our deliberate approach to helping society reach a lower-emissions future,” said Exxon chairman and chief executive officer Darren Woods.  

“We are developing comprehensive roadmaps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operated assets around the world, and where we are not the operator, we are working with our partners to achieve similar emission-reduction results.”  

As part of this push to accelerate the energy transition, Woods says that the company will pursue green technologies such as carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and biofuels, as well as put pressure on governments to implement stricter climate policies and impose a carbon tax.  

Efforts are already underway to reduce Exxon’s methane emissions and eliminate routine flaring, with these anticipated to decrease by 70% and 60% by 2030, respectively. Electrification of operations is expected as a longer-term solution, using either renewable or low-carbon power alternatives, with more than $15bn expected to be invested into lower-emission alternatives by 2027. 

“As we invest in these important technologies, we will advocate for well-designed, high-impact policies that can accelerate the deployment of market-based, cost-effective solutions,” he said. 

The announcement comes as the group is facing mounting investor pressure to clean up its operations, with industry rivals BP and Shell establishing more ambitious climate targets in recent months. It also comes less than a year after Exxon lost a battle with hedge fund Engine No 1, which successfully elected two nominees to Exxon’s board to help drive a stricter emission-reduction strategy.  

“The company has no credible strategy to create value in a decarbonising world,” Engine No 1 wrote. “Repositioning ExxonMobil for long-term value creation will require an understanding of the trends shaping the future of energy and the opportunities they create.” 

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