Exxon Mobil Corporation said Oct. 21 that media and environmental activists’ allegations about the company’s climate research are inaccurate and deliberately misleading.
“For nearly 40 years we have supported development of climate science in partnership with governments and academic institutions, and did and continue to do that work in an open and transparent way,” said Ken Cohen, vice president of public and government affairs.
“Activists deliberately cherry-picked statements attributed to various company employees to wrongly suggest definitive conclusions were reached decades ago by company researchers. These activists took those statements out of context and ignored other readily available statements demonstrating that our researchers recognized the developing nature of climate science at the time which, in fact, mirrored global understanding.”
The allegations were contained in reports distributed by InsideClimate News, an anti-oil and gas activist organization, and the Los Angeles Times, and have prompted political attacks by Senators Bernie Sanders and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives Ted Lieu and Mark DeSaulnier.
Both InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times ignored evidence provided by the company of continuous and publicly available climate research that refutes their claims.
“The facts are that we identified the potential risks of climate change and have taken the issue very seriously,” Cohen said. “We embarked on decades of research in collaboration with many parties, including the Department of Energy, leading academic institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and others to advance climate science.”
ExxonMobil scientists continue to research and publish findings to improve understanding of climate system science as a basis for society’s response to climate change and have produced more than 50 peer-reviewed publications on topics including the global carbon cycle, detection and attribution of climate change, low carbon technologies and analysis of future scenarios for energy and climate.
ExxonMobil scientists have been selected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations’ most authoritative body on the subject, as authors of their past four major assessment reports, and have contributed to National Research Council boards and committees on climate change.
“We recognize that our past participation in broad coalitions that opposed ineffective climate policies subjects us to criticism by climate activist groups,” Cohen said. “We will continue to advocate for policies that reduce emissions while enabling economic growth.”
Since 2009, the company has supported a revenue-neutral carbon tax as the preferred policy approach for emission reduction because it ensures a uniform and predictable cost of carbon, allows market prices to drive solutions, maximizes transparency to stakeholders, reduces administrative complexity, promotes global participation, and is easily adjusted to future developments in climate science and policy impacts.
ExxonMobil joined other companies to provide initial and ongoing funding to create and support the MIT Joint Program on Climate Science and Policy and Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project, which has engaged scores of researchers, faculty and students and has resulted in hundreds of scientific publications on climate change and low carbon technologies.
The company has an active research program into lower-carbon emission technologies, such as algae and cellulosic-based biofuels, carbon capture and storage and advanced engines to name a few.
More information on ExxonMobil’s climate research can be found on ExxonMobil’s corporate blog, Perspectives at www.exxonmobilperspectives.com.