Managing climate risk - Energy Factor
Perspectives blog

Managing climate risk

Ken Cohen - 03/31/2014

Earlier today we issued two reports that outline the company’s business planning and risk assessment practices. These reports provide detail on how the company plans capital expenditures, assesses and plans for policies limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and works to reduce emissions. They also include information such as distribution of reserves by asset location and type.

The takeaway from these reports is that all energy sources, including carbon-based fuels, are necessary to meet future global energy demand growth as society manages climate change risks.

Here’s what I told the Associated Press earlier today:

We know enough based on the research and science that the risk is real and appropriate steps should be taken to address that risk. 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.

WC_CO2EmissionsbyRegion_12-2013A number of credible forecasts, including those of the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Administration, predict that carbon-based fuels will continue to meet about three-quarters of global energy needs through the next several decades. (These views are in line with the forecasts contained in ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040).

What that means is that all of ExxonMobil’s current oil and natural gas reserves will be needed to address global energy needs, along with substantial future industry investments. This message is particularly important and timely given this morning’s release of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

I encourage you to read these reports to shareholders – which can be accessed here – along with our Outlook for Energy and recently released 2013 Financial and Operating Review. They give a good flavor of how our corporation makes investment decisions and how we view the future.

We know that climate change is real and the risks associated with it warrant action. Our corporation is taking action in numerous ways, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, helping consumers reduce their emissions, supporting research into technology breakthroughs, and engaging with policymakers on constructive public policy options.

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