The American oil and gas giant ExxonMobil does not venture to set its own climate targets to reduce CO2 emissions, as many of its competitors do. According to Exxon boss Darren Woods, setting such goals is nothing but a beauty contest and such promises from industry peers make little difference to the climate.
According to Woods, it is important that energy companies focus on worldwide systematic efforts to reduce CO2 and other harmful emissions. He points out that peers in the sector are doing well with replacing heavily polluting parts for cleaner activities, especially to make themselves look good. But with the sale of polluting parts to another company, the problem is not solved according to the Exxon boss.
Exxon’s policy is aimed at taking steps to solve the problem for society as a whole.
“We do not want to participate in a beauty contest.”
Woods’ words are in line with those of Chevron colleague Mike Wirth. They also underline the gap between American and European approaches to climate change by major energy companies. Both American oil giants see the demand for oil and gas grow in the coming years. They also refuse to compete in the emerging market for renewable energy sources where they have little expertise. The European companies Shell, Repsol and Eni, among others, committed to significantly reducing CO2 emissions in the long term. BP recently promised that it wants to be CO2 neutral by 2050.
According to Exxon, the yield from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy will also not be sufficient to meet the growing demand. Woods believes that the energy industry really needs to do something about climate change and that major technological breakthroughs are needed in the areas of CO2 capture, alternative fuels in transport and the revision of industrial processes.