Energy for a growing population

Energy and technology solutions

Report March 16, 2021

Energy for a growing population

Affordable, reliable energy is essential to facilitate improvements in quality of life, including longer life expectancy, higher education, and increased gross national income per capita, regardless of location.

Today, half of the world’s population has a life expectancy of 12 years less than those living in the United States, and receives a third less education.8 Close to 1 billion people still live without electricity.7 This has enormous implications for the future of energy and the products that make modern life possible.

Global demand for energy will increase as the world’s population grows by an expected 1.6 billion people in the next two decades to more than 9 billion; the middle class will expand to more than 5 billion people by 2030, with almost 90 percent of the next 1 billion entrants into the middle class living in Asia.9, 10

Impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic have been significant, affecting not only lives but also the global economy and energy demand. As the global response to the pandemic continues and vaccines are administered and economies begin to recover, the fundamental drivers for energy demand are expected to return.

Under most third-party scenarios that meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, oil and natural gas will continue to play a significant role for decades in meeting increasing energy demand of a growing and more prosperous world population. ExxonMobil expects to play an important part in meeting society’s need for energy and is committed to supporting efforts to mitigate the risks of climate change.

Commercially viable technology advances are required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. ExxonMobil’s sustained investment in research and development is focused on society’s highest-emitting sectors of industrial, power generation, and commercial transportation, which together account for 80 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions, and for which the current solution set is insufficient.9

To address these gaps in available technologies, we are working to develop breakthrough solutions in a number of areas – including carbon capture, biofuels, hydrogen, and energy-efficient process technology – and recently created a new business to commercialize our extensive low-carbon technology portfolio.

Providing affordable and reliable energy while managing emissions requires a long-term perspective, competency in fundamental science and engineering, and significant investment. ExxonMobil has a history of more than 135 years as an energy innovator and is committed to doing its part to help society address this critical challenge.



See page 126 of the 2020 Annual Report for footnotes.