European leaders seeking to deal with local weather change ought to look to US coverage and “let the market work” to keep away from driving corporations away with prescriptive rules, Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Government Officer Darren Woods mentioned.
“I believe it’s an enormous mistake to be selecting winners and losers and specializing in particular applied sciences,” Woods advised the CEO Norway’s Wealth Fund, Nicolai Tangen, on his podcast. “As a substitute we must be wanting extra broadly at letting the markets work out which options present probably the most emissions reductions for the bottom price.”
Europe has been working with a better sense of urgency because the Biden administration final yr handed its Inflation Discount Act, with $370 billion in tax subsidies to chop carbon emissions. The package deal is turbo-charging curiosity in carbon seize and storage applied sciences, which for years have been thought of too costly and vulnerable to failure. Exxon, which has pledged to spend $17 billion by means of 2027 on low-carbon initiatives, is among the many corporations ramping up plans to seize emissions.
“Carbon seize goes to play a extremely necessary position. It’s a expertise that exists in the present day. It’s one which now we have plenty of expertise in,” Woods mentioned. “Assume carbon seize and storage, suppose hydrogen, suppose biofuels, all of these acknowledged by credible third events are going to be wanted as a part of the answer.”
Whereas different oil majors want to develop wind farms and photo voltaic parks, Exxon is targeted on applied sciences that dovetail with the corporate’s strengths, Woods mentioned. “On the finish of the day, we’re a molecule firm, not an electron firm.”
Even because it pursues carbon seize and storage expertise, Exxon will preserve pumping oil and fuel, Woods mentioned.
“If we cease producing diesel and gasoline, the world demand doesn’t change. Anyone else will meet that,” he mentioned. “I cease rising liquefied pure fuel and the world burns extra coal.”
Norway’s wealth fund would require the businesses it invests in to achieve internet zero emissions by 2050 on the newest. It lately voted in favor of a proposal calling for Exxon to undertake a medium-term goal to scale back its prospects emissions — generally known as Scope 3 — however the demand was rejected by a majority of shareholders.