Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil announced a series of emissions reduction targets and initiatives as part of its newly released corporate plans to 2027, including accelerating its near term emissions targets, outlining 2030 greenhouse gas reduction plans, and earmarking $15 billion over the next six years for investments in emission-reduction projects.
Despite the updated goals, however, the company has still not set a target to reach net zero emissions, unlike several of its energy major peers such as Shell, bp and TotalEnergies, in line with the demands of climate-focused shareholders and sustainability-focused investor groups.
Exxon’s updated targets follow a proxy battle involving the company earlier this year, which saw activist investor Engine No. 1 win three seats on the company’s board, marking a major victory for investors pushing the oil and gas giant to act on the emerging global energy transition to clean and renewable sources of energy. The campaign benefited from the participation of several major investors including CalPERS, CalSTRS and the New York State Common Retirement Fund, and BlackRock.
Exxon unveiled a series of climate targets last year, including goals to reduce intensity of upstream Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 15-20% (vs 2016 levels), methane intensity by 40-50% and flaring intensity by 35-45% by 2025, and to achieve industry-leading greenhouse gas performance across its businesses by 2030.
With the updated plan, the company announced that it will reach its 2025 targets well ahead of schedule, achieving the planned emissions intensity reductions this year. The company has unveiled new targets, including goals to achieve 20-30% reduction in corporate-wide intensity, 40-50% reduction in Upstream intensity, 70-80% reduction in corporate-wide methane intensity, and 60-70% reduction in corporate-wide flaring intensity by 2030.
Exxon stated that its $15 billion investments will include projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing operations and increased investments in the Low Carbon Solutions business, and that the company will pursue opportunities in energy-transition areas such as carbon capture and storage, biofuels and hydrogen.
The company anticipates that its initiatives will reduce absolute corporate-wide greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 20%, and stated that its 2030 goals are consistent with Paris Agreement pathways.
Darren Woods, ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO, said:
“The focused actions we have taken have enabled us to accelerate greenhouse gas reductions particularly in the areas of methane and flaring. We anticipate meeting our 2025 greenhouse gas emission-reduction plans ahead of schedule, which gives us confidence to set more aggressive medium-term goals across all of our businesses.”