Thinking Citizen Blog — Wow! Exxon Going Net Zero by 2050!? What about “Scope 3 Emissions”?

Thinking Citizen Blog — Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day

Today’s Topic: Wow! Exxon Going Net Zero by 2050!? What about “Scope 3 Emissions”?

Really? Could this actually happen? Will it? “We’ve got a line of sight. By the end of this year, 90% of our assets will have road maps to reduce carbon emissions and reach this net zero future.” (Exxon chairman, Darren Woods) “To help reach net zero for operated assets by 2050, the company has identified more than 150 potential steps and modifications that can be applied to assets in its upstream, downstream and chemical operations.” We’ve come a long way in the last 30 years! But many think Exxon is not doing enough fast enough and is lagging some of its competitors — especially when it comes to “Scope 3 emissions.” Today a few notes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

IN THE WORDS OF EXXON’S CHAIRMAN, DARREN WOODS — THE STRATEGIC VISION

1. “ExxonMobil is committed to playing a leading role in the energy transition, and Advancing Climate Solutions articulates our deliberate approach to helping society reach a lower-emissions future,”

2. “We are developing comprehensive roadmaps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operated assets around the world, and where we are not the operator, we are working with our partners to achieve similar emission-reduction results.”

3. “As we invest in these important technologies, we will advocate for well-designed, high-impact policies that can accelerate the deployment of market-based, cost-effective solutions.”

EXXON’S PLAN FOR 2O3O — major reductions in greenhouse gas intensity

1. “Compared to emission levels in 2016, the time of the Paris Agreement, the 2030 plans include a 20–30% reduction in corporate-wide greenhouse gas intensity, which includes 40–50% reduction in upstream greenhouse gas intensity, 70–80% reduction in corporate-wide methane intensity, and 60–70% reduction in corporate-wide flaring intensity.”

2. “The 2030 emission-reduction plans are expected to achieve World Bank Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 and reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 30% for the company’s upstream business and 20% for the entire corporation.

3. Similarly, absolute flaring and methane emissions are expected to decrease by 60% and 70%, respectively by 2030.”

FALLING SHORT — European competitors are doing more on Scope 3 (NYT, Clifford Kraus)

1. “But the new policies stop short of including Scope 3 emissions, which result from the combustion of fuels by drivers and other customers, as well as other companies along Exxon’s supply chain. The overwhelming majority of emissions linked to companies are Scope 3, and they are the hardest to control or compensate for.”

2. “European companies have begun to embrace commitments to Scope 3, which will require immense efforts, including reforestation, the capture and removal of carbon from operations, and technological advances such as fuels made from recycled carbon. Many of the companies are selling off hydrocarbon businesses and redirecting resources to renewable energy like solar and wind power.”

3. “The one American company that has committed to eliminating Scope 3 emissions is Occidental Petroleum, one of Exxon’s main competitors in the Permian Basin in Texas, where it plans to suck carbon out of the air and bury it in the ground. (See third link below for details.)

NB: “Mr. Woods (the Exxon CEO) said his company was making an effort to slash Scope 3 emissions by working on carbon capture and sequestration, and on advanced low-carbon fuels for aviation and other heavy transportation.”

FOOTNOTE — Pressure from activist investors

“Pressure on Exxon has increased since activist investors secured three of the 12 seats on its board in June in a stunning defeat for management. Mr. Woods said the board members were now “unified,” adding, “You can’t distinguish between the new and old.” Really? If remotely true, wow!

ExxonMobil announces ambition for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 | ExxonMobil

Exxon Sets a 2050 Goal for Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/18/climate/carbon-removal-technology.html

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YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to climate change or the environment. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to climate change that the rest of us may have missed. Your favorite chart or table perhaps…

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.

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Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.