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Exxon officials admit need for climate change action…just not by them

The latest outrage in the climate change wars comes, not surprisingly and appropriately enough, from Exxon. Think Progress has this story entitled “Exxon is behind the landmark climate report you didn’t hear about”:

Climate change is already impacting all continents. But it isn’t yet impacting all companies. The latest installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report released on Monday confirmed the former. A report released by Exxon Mobil the same day about how greenhouse gas emissions and climate change factor into its business model found that climate change, and specifically global climate policies, are “highly unlikely” to stop it from selling fossil fuels for decades to come.

Exxon is the first major oil and gas producer to publish a Carbon Asset Risk report to address investor concerns over how market forces and environmental regulations might impact the production of some of its reserves. The company agreed to publish the report several weeks ago after Arjuna Capital, a sustainable wealth management platform, and As You Sow, a non-profit promoting environmental corporate responsibility, agreed to drop a shareholder resolution on the issue. These shareholders have concerns that Exxon Mobil’s assets will become worth less as fossil fuel restrictions come into place in coming years and climate change becomes an even more immediate and dire societal problem.

In the report, Exxon didn’t feel the need to sound any alarm bells.

“We know enough based on the research and science that the risk (of climate change) is real and appropriate steps should be taken to address that risk,” Ken Cohen, Exxon’s government affairs chief, told the AP in an interview Monday. “But given the essential role that energy plays in everyone’s lives, those steps need to be taken in context with other realities we face, including lifting much of the world’s population out of poverty.”

Exxon said they take the risk of climate change seriously, but steps to address the problem “will be most effective if they are informed by global energy demand and supply realities, and balance the economic aspirations of consumers.”

Balancing these economic aspirations means that carbon dioxide emissions from energy sources peak around 2030 and begin to decrease within a decade after that as demand for access to electricity and heat is offset by increased efficiency and advances in low-carbon and renewable technologies.

Natasha Lamb, director of equity research at Arjuna Capita, told the AP that while the report is a milestone, she was disappointed that it failed “to explain what would happen if society did in fact adopt policies that would lead to sharply lower emissions, something known broadly as a low-carbon standard.”

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

6 Comments

  1. Alan

    April 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    “We know enough based on the research and science that the risk (of climate change) is real and appropriate steps should be taken to address that risk,” Ken Cohen, Exxon’s government affairs chief, told the AP in an interview Monday.”

    I wonder if the interns will post refuting the claims from Exxon that climate change is indeed real after all?

  2. James

    April 1, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    “We must continue our currently reckless course of energy profiteering in order to lift people out of poverty … even as we sink them under the rising oceans.”

  3. Alan

    April 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Well, it looks like Team Civitas needs to get started on building Noahs Ark-2.

  4. Alex

    April 2, 2014 at 8:01 am

    We will come closer to sinking under our mountain of debt than we ever will with the rising oceans. Everyone should read Singer’s book ” Hot Talk Cold Science” for a different perspective.

  5. Alan

    April 2, 2014 at 9:33 am

    There is no debate on the reality of climate change, it has been scientific fact for many years. While Singer is perfectly entitled to his opinion, the VAST majority of scientists support the FACT that humans and our addiction to fossil fuels is in large part responsible for climate change.

    The denial of science makes the USA look like a bunch of ignorant hicks to many around the world.

    So, in context, climate change is a huge librul myth, yet humans and dinosaurs cooexisting is “fact”.

  6. LayintheSmakDown

    April 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Alan, where have you been? There is a huge amount of debate within real scientific communities. But I guess you are satisfied (as usual) to continue in your ignorance in order to spout the progresso way.