ExxonMobil suspended from climate group

  • Market: Crude oil, Emissions, Natural gas
  • 08/06/21

ExxonMobil said a decision by a climate group that promotes a carbon tax to suspend the oil major's membership is "counterproductive" to addressing environmental issues.

The biggest US oil producer was dropped from the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) just weeks after a company lobbyist was secretly recorded saying ExxonMobil's public support for a carbon tax was little more than a public relations ploy.

"CLC's decision is disappointing and counterproductive," ExxonMobil said in a statement. "It will in no way deter our efforts to advance carbon pricing that we believe is a critical policy requirement to tackle climate change."

The oil major has faced increasing pressure from investors and climate campaigners over its perceived failure to set out a clear strategy to navigate the energy transition. That culminated in a boardroom coup in May when a relatively unknown hedge fund succeeded in replacing three board members with its own nominees.

The covert recording in which the lobbyist said ExxonMobil had sought to undermine climate legislation only served to add fuel to the fire.

"After careful consideration, we have decided to suspend ExxonMobil's membership in both the Council and Americans for Carbon Dividends, our advocacy arm," chief executive Greg Bertelsen said.

ExxonMobil had been a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council since 2017. The group promotes a carbon dividends plan centered on a nationwide carbon price to cut US carbon emissions in half by 2035.

After the lobbying scandal erupted in June, the company's chief executive Darren Woods issued an apology and said the lobbyists in question had never been involved in drawing up the company's policy stances on these issues

Founding members of the Climate Leadership Council range from energy companies including Shell and BP, no non-profits such as the World Wide Fund for Nature and World Resources Institute.


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