Exxon’s Come a Long Way on Climate Change

by | Dec 6, 2013

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ExxonMobil logoCompanies’ use of an internal carbon price provides evidence that industry leaders today are shifting from idealogical stances on climate change to more practical, profit-driven approaches. Case in point: ExxonMobil.

As recently as 2005, Exxon’s then-CEO was speaking publicly about his doubts on anthropogenic climate change, Verdantix notes in its report, Shifting to a Profit-Centric Paradigm for Climate Change. Since then the company has noted the way public policy is headed, and now its planning assumes a carbon cost of $60 per metric ton by 2030.

“Ultimately, we think the government will take action through a myriad of policies that will raise the prices and reduce demand” of carbon-polluting fossil fuels, Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers told the New York Times. Not only that, but the company now says it supports a carbon tax, if that policy gets paired with an equal cut elsewhere in the tax code.

Takeaway: Practical realizations of climate change’s impact on the bottom line – both as a direct effect, and through regulation – are replacing idealogical stances at companies like ExxonMobil.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

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