ExxonMobil Eyes Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050

The company faces increased investor pressure to have a more precise plan to lower its carbon footprint.

August 06, 2021

Exxon Gas Station

IRVING, Texas—ExxonMobil Corp. is weighing a move to sharply reduce emissions as investors apply more pressure on the company to employ a more decisive plan to lower its carbon footprint, the Wall Street Journal said in an exclusive report. The energy giant is reportedly considering a commitment to being net zero by 2050.

“As the board goes through its deliberations regarding future plans related to the company’s energy transition activities, we routinely evaluate our work and commitments and will update our shareholders and the public as those plans evolve,” said Casey Norton, ExxonMobil spokesman.

CEO Darren Woods indicated Exxon backs the Paris climate agreement goals that seek to limit the rise global average temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels and support limiting the rise to 1.5 degrees. Already, the company has said it would lower its carbon intensity of total energy produced, with some indication of applying these efforts directly to Exxon asset production.

In July, ExxonMobil said it had struck deals to “participate in a major carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Scotland and to explore the development of CO2 infrastructure in France.” The Acorn CCS project in Scotland plans to capture and store about 5 million to 6 million metric tons of CO2 per year by 2030, ExxonMobil said.

ExxonMobil expanded its previous agreement with Global Clean Energy to purchase up to 5 million barrels of renewable diesel during the second quarter. Commercial production is expected to begin in 2022. The agreement is part of the company’s efforts to advance multiple options to produce low-emission biofuels, including purchase agreements, new projects and facility upgrades. The company said it believes it will be able to produce more than 40,000 barrels per day of biofuels by 2025.

Exxon isn’t the only oil company working on reducing emissions. Royal Dutch Shell has accelerated its alternative and renewable energy initiatives after a court in The Netherlands ruled that the company must reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. The landmark ruling further pressure oil-and-gas companies to take even greater steps on climate goals.

To learn more about how your business can incorporate sustainable measures into your operations, read “Creating a Sustainability Game Plan” and “Sustainable—and Safe” in NACS Magazine.