Engaging on climate change policy

Report Dec. 20, 2019

Engaging on climate change policy

There are few challenges more important than meeting the world’s growing demand for energy while reducing environmental impacts and the risks of climate change. ExxonMobil supports the 2015 Paris Agreement and believes the company has a constructive role to play in developing solutions. We have a long-standing history of investments in technology and are well-positioned to meet the demands of an evolving energy system.

Our annual Outlook for Energy shows that oil and gas in 2040 still play a significant role, even when considering hypothetical 2°C scenarios. The International Energy Agency (IEA) anticipates cumulative investments in oil and natural gas supplies could approach $21 trillion from 2018 to 2040; even under a 2°C pathway, the IEA would expect cumulative oil and gas investments could exceed $13 trillion by 2040.

For more information on our analysis and views, visit our 2019 Energy & Carbon Summary, which provides an analysis of 2°C scenarios and aligns with the core elements of the framework developed by the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. 

Our actions to address the risks of climate change are prioritized under the four pillars: mitigating emissions in our operations, providing products to help our customers reduce their emissions, developing scalable technology solutions and engaging on climate change policy.

We engage a variety of stakeholders on responsible policies that could effectively address climate change risks, including policymakers, investors, consumers, nongovernmental organizations, academics and the public. We engage with stakeholders directly and through trade associations around the world to encourage sound policy solutions for addressing climate change risks. We believe sound climate policies will:

  • Promote global participation;
  • Let market prices drive the selection of solutions;
  • Ensure a uniform and predictable cost of greenhouse gas emissions across the economy;
  • Minimize complexity and administrative costs;
  • Maximize transparency; and 
  • Provide flexibility to react to developments in technology, climate science and policy. 

More broadly, ExxonMobil provides support to a variety of organizations and coalitions to help promote informed dialogue and sound public policy on matters pertinent to the company’s interests, including energy policy. ExxonMobil is committed to providing our shareholders and other key stakeholders with meaningful disclosures about our business, including how we are managing the risks related to climate change and positioning for a lower-carbon future. 

ExxonMobil’s board of directors and management committee work together to oversee and address risks associated with our business, including risks related to climate change. The board of directors engages with subject matter experts to learn about the latest developments in climate science and policy, and holds briefings and discussions on the company’s public policy positions and advocacy. For information on how ExxonMobil’s board of directors and its committees are involved in managing climate change risks, visit our board leadership webpage and Energy & Carbon Summary.

2018 performance and initiatives

Successfully managing climate change risks requires a coordinated effort involving governments, private companies, nongovernmental organizations, consumers and other stakeholders around the world. In 2018, ExxonMobil joined the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a voluntary, global initiative representing 13 of the world’s largest oil and gas producers working collaboratively toward solutions to mitigate climate change risks. As part of the initiative, ExxonMobil will expand its investments in long-term solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase multi-stakeholder collaborations to pursue lower-emission technologies. 

ExxonMobil became a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) in 2017. The CLC collaborates with business leaders, government officials and other key stakeholder groups to promote a carbon dividends framework as the most cost-effective and equitable climate solution. The CLC calls for regulatory simplification and adoption of a carbon fee in the United States with the revenues returned to Americans. For more than a decade, ExxonMobil has supported an economy-wide price on CO2 emissions as an efficient policy mechanism to address greenhouse gas emissions.

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ExxonMobil’s diverse portfolio of projects requires us to work in remote and sensitive environments, including deepwater and biodiverse locations. Our environmental management approach is guided by an understanding of the potential environmental impacts of our operations and a commitment to sustainably develop, maintain and operate projects using appropriate standards that enable us to ‘Protect Tomorrow. Today.’

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