Public policy debate
Managing the risks associated with climate change requires the participation of government, consumers, and the private sector to develop and sustain effective technologies and policies that reduce the global carbon footprint.
ExxonMobil supports adopting strategies for reducing emissions that are stable, predictable, long-term, simple, and transparent—and that encourage the greatest reduction in emissions at the least possible cost to society. When considering policy options, ExxonMobil advocates an approach that:
If governments consider the adoption of regulatory frameworks, we believe a well-designed, revenue-neutral carbon tax mechanism provides a cost-effective policy approach. When combined with further advances in energy efficiency and new technologies spurred by market innovation, a carbon tax could play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Mitigating global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will require participation from developed countries and the major developing economies in any policy response. We will continue to actively and constructively participate in global policy discussions.
Global engagement on climate change
In 2011, we discussed policy issues with governments and legislators around the world, including Australia, Canada, European Union countries, Japan, Singapore, and the United States. ExxonMobil was represented at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Durban, South Africa, as an observer, and our staff continues to participate in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
We test a range of potential cost scenarios for energy-related GHG emissions in our Outlook for Energy. These forecasts use a cost on CO2 emissions to represent future climate policy options. ExxonMobil anticipates Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) CO2 costs reaching about $80 per ton by 2040. At that time, we project China will impose costs of $30 per ton, with many Non-OECD nations approaching $20 per ton.
We engage regularly with governmental advisory panels and related scientific bodies around climate change issues. For example, in 2011, we contributed to the United States National Petroleum Council report on energy resources and to the IHS CERA publication on Sound Energy Policy for Europe, and we submitted testimony to parliamentary committees in the United Kingdom and Australia. During 2011, ExxonMobil representatives continued to speak on climate-related issues at events such as Net Impact, the International Petrochemical Conference, the World Petroleum Congress, and the World Shale Gas Conference.
Funding of advocacy groups and research
ExxonMobil supports many public policy and academic organizations that research and promote discussion on issues affecting our business, including climate change. We elect to fund organizations whose research contributes constructively to the dialogue on effective policy and technology. We have ceased funding groups we believe were addressing the public policy discussion by questioning the science of climate change as opposed to exploring solutions to this complicated challenge.
In 2011, our climate related advocacy and research funding beneficiaries included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Research Economics and Sciences, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, Chatham House, Resources for the Future, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.