Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Leaked Documents Reveal ExxonMobil Plans to Increase Carbon Emissions 17% by 2025

By John Bromels – Oct 5, 2020 at 1:11PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The top oil company's plans are contrary to its peers'.

According to leaked documents first reported on by Bloomberg, oil giant ExxonMobil (XOM -0.27%) plans to increase carbon dioxide emissions over the next five years by 17%, more than the current emissions of the entire country of Greece.

The plan puts Exxon at odds with many of its peers, including fellow oil majors Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) (RDS.B) and BP (BP -1.71%), both of which are targeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. BP recently unveiled a plan targeting a 30% to 35% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. 

Flames and smoke are emitted from the top of an oil refinery's chimneys.

Image source: Getty Images.

The oil and gas industry as a whole -- including fuel emissions from oil- and natural-gas based fuels -- is the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. Shell and BP have been responsive to shareholders' demands to implement climate-friendly policies and plans. 

ExxonMobil, on the other hand, hasn't committed to a "net zero" date. In March, Exxon CEO Darren Woods described oil companies' carbon targets as "a beauty competition," explaining that if an individual company lowers its emissions by selling its highest-emitting assets to another company, the overall amount of global emissions doesn't change.

ExxonMobil's leaked plan involves ramping up oil production, which will add about 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year through 2025. Such an increase would more than offset the company's proposed efforts to reduce emissions, which include some investments in renewable energy and trapping some carbon dioxide underground.

It's worth noting that the 21 million metric tons only represent the amount of additional carbon dioxide ExxonMobil's proposed production increases would produce. The leaked documents estimate total emissions -- factoring in the aforementioned reduction efforts -- of 143 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2025. 

John Bromels owns shares of BP. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.