ExxonMobil isn’t typically known for climate action, but the world’s biggest publicly traded oil and gas company is now fighting climate change with greenhouse gas reduction measures. The oil and gas giant recently announced measures to lower greenhouse gas emissions, including a 15 percent drop in methane emissions, in an effort to address climate change.
To slash methane emissions, Exxon is drawing on multiple initiatives, one of which is leak-detection-and-repair efforts at XTO Energy, an Exxon subsidiary focused on shale. According to the company, operational improvements at production and midstream sites in the United States, combined with the leak-detection-and-repair efforts, have lowered methane emissions by around two percent in the last year. Exxon thinks it will reach the 15 percent target with these initiatives and “additional measures outside the U.S. focused on the most significant sources of methane.” Exxon also aims for a 25 percent reduction in natural gas flaring; it believes the most significant reductions will happen in West Africa.
The oil and gas company describes itself as “the most energy efficient refining company in the U.S. and internationally.” It said it has reached “a 10 percent improvement in energy efficiency” across “global refining operations” after launching an effort in 2000, and that it invests in lower-emission energy solutions such as biofuels, cogeneration, and carbon capture and storage. CEO Darren Woods said in their statement, “We have a longstanding commitment to improve efficiency and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Today’s announcement builds on that commitment and will help further drive improvements in our business.”
Almost two-thirds of greenhouse gases released during the last 150 years originated from 90 companies. Exxon was in the top 10, according to a 2013 study from Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute; he blames the companies for most climate change.