In a bold statement from an oil and gas major, Exxon has come out and pledged that it will be at net zero carbon emission by 2050. The pledge helps Exxon keep pace with rivals, according to CNBC, and also helps appease activist investors who have focused on Exxon's carbon footprint and ESG score as an investment for the last few years.
The pledge applies to Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions, Bloomberg added, stating that the company had "identified more than 150 potential steps and modifications that can be applied to assets in its upstream, downstream and chemical operations."
Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods said this week: “We are developing comprehensive roadmaps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operated assets around the world."
Exxon says it is “working with our partners to achieve similar emission-reduction results”.
Recall, in December, we noted that Exxon was on track to meet its 2025 emissions goals 4 years in advance.
In Exxon's full plan, which can be found on its website here, the company said it "plans to increase spending to $15 billion on greenhouse gas emission-reduction projects over the next six years while maintaining disciplined capital investments."
Bloomberg also noted that Exxon confirmed "it was on track to meet its 2025 greenhouse gas emission-reduction plans by year-end 2021, four years ahead of schedule."
Turning to financials, the oil supermajor said it plans on maintaining capital investments between $20 to $25 billion, per year, through 2027.
The company also said it has repaid $11 billion in debt, to date, in 2021. Exxon says it'll be "comfortably" in its range of targeted debt-to-capital ratio by year end.
These plans, of course, follow our reporting in October that the company was considering abandoning some of its oil and gas projects to appease environmental advocates.
The company's board, we noted in October, which includes three directors nominated by activist investors, had "expressed concerns about certain projects, including a $30 billion liquefied natural gas development in Mozambique and another multibillion-dollar gas project in Vietnam."
The change in strategic direction comes as Exxon's board is facing growing pressure from investors to restrain its fossil fuel investments and limit its carbon footprint. The board is also considering the carbon footprint of the new projects, and how they would affect the company's ability to meet environmental promises it has made.
Back in September we reported that as part of appeasement of the ESG lobby, the oil giant planned on implementing disclosures of shale emissions. The company announced it would start measuring its methane emissions from production of natural gas at a facility it owns in New Mexico. Exxon joins other shale gas producers, like EQT, who already provide similar data.
Bart Cahir, a senior vice president at Exxon Mobil, told Reuters: "Certifying our natural gas will help our customers achieve their goals." The oil major has signed an agreement with "independent measuring firm MiQ to certify 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day" at its New Mexico facilities.