Oil Giant Exxon Spent Decades Trying to “Influence” The Climate Agenda – The Average Joe
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    Oil Giant Exxon Spent Decades Trying to “Influence” The Climate Agenda


    September 14, 2023

    The heat is turning up for one of the world’s largest oil companies, ExxonMobil. In 2006, Exxon made its first public acknowledgment of fossil fuel’s impact on climate change — but docs recently reviewed by the WSJ show that their actions had differed from their public statements.

    • Over the next decade, execs reportedly continued to strategize ways to downplay climate change — and its then-CEO tried to “influence” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    • Despite public commitments to stop funding research that questioned climate change, records showed Exxon continued anyway.

    They called it: Back in 2015, internal emails revealed that Exxon knew about climate change as early as 1981 — and a study from earlier this year showed that Exxon scientists had “predicted global warming correctly and skillfully.”

    Still, the oil giant spent another 27 years backing research against climate change — but is now facing several lawsuits accusing it of deceptive practices and failing to disclose climate change risks.

    Then came a new CEO in 2017, Darren Wood, and the announcement of Exxon’s first major investment ($17B over five years) to reduce emissions — which is still far short of what they’re spending on oil and gas investments.

    Oil investments are pumping

    In 2022, Exxon had made a massive $55B in profit and invested $22.7B on capital and exploration expenditures — but has only committed $15B to reduce emissions between 2021-2027. They also haven’t made any investments in renewable energy sources like wind and solar — saying the returns are too low — instead focusing on decarbonization. As per a report last month:

    • Exxon expects a 25% global population increase that would double the economy by 2050 — and that more fossil fuel investments will be needed to support that growth.
    • “Fossil fuels remain the most effective way to produce the massive amounts of energy needed to create and support… modern economies.”

    Wood responded to WSJ by saying, “None of these old emails and notes matter… we’re building an entire business dedicated to reducing emissions.”

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