“We don’t believe that society has to choose between economic prosperity or reducing the risk of climate change,” said ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren Woods at this year’s annual shareholder meeting. “We can do both, which is what we are working on.”
A look at the numbers shows why solving this challenge is so important. Specifically, the world’s population is expected to grow by 30 percent to 9 billion people over the next two decades. A growing portion of the world’s expanding population will join the middle class, and meeting their expectation for more comfortable lives requires safe and reliable energy. That’s why energy demand over that same time period is projected to jump by 25 percent.
But meeting that need doesn’t mean sacrificing emission reductions. It takes creative thinking by ExxonMobil researchers, which is why the company’s ability to find success starts with its people.
“Getting the ‘people part’ right is the foundation of everything we do,” Woods said. “We recruit talented people and retain the vast majority for an entire career. This provides us with a workforce of unsurpassed experience and industry knowledge.”
Already, ExxonMobil is on track to reduce its methane emissions by 15 percent and flaring by 25 percent by 2020. Since 2000, the company has invested nearly $10 billion on lower-emission research and development.
In addition, the company continues to work with outside partners like Synthetic Genomics on algae biofuels, and with more than 80 universities around the world on other initiatives. Most recently, ExxonMobil announced a $100 million investment in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories to advance fundamental research and help scale up lower-emission technologies.
That work is critical in providing cleaner, more abundant energy.