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ExxonMobil on the U.N. climate talks

Many people have asked for our thoughts on the United Nations Climate Change Conference getting underway in Paris.

12012015_Feature_v5When it comes to COP21, we are hopeful that an agreement will be reached for meaningful action to address the risks surrounding climate change.

The following statement captures the key principles that we have been advocating for a number of years, including an explanation for why we believe a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the best option to fulfill these key principles.


ExxonMobil Statement on COP 21
The company strongly supports effort toward a successful outcome
Putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions the best option to meet Paris climate goals

As leaders gather in Paris this month for the United Nations summit designed to address climate change, ExxonMobil offers its support and encouragement to governments in their efforts to reach an effective and clear international agreement to manage climate change risks.

ExxonMobil takes global climate change seriously and the risks of rising greenhouse gas emissions warrant thoughtful action. The long-term objective of climate change policy should be to reduce the risks of serious harm to humanity and ecosystems at minimum societal cost, while recognizing additional shared humanitarian necessities, including providing reliable and affordable energy to improve global living standards.

Climate change is a global issue and it requires global solutions. Both developed and developing countries need to work together in crafting policies aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, while recognizing the potential for differing national priorities.

ExxonMobil believes all economic energy sources will be necessary to meet growing global demand, and the evolution of the energy system toward lower atmospheric emissions will take many decades due to the energy system’s enormous scale, capital intensity, and complexity.

ExxonMobil believes that effective policies to address climate change will put a price on greenhouse gas emissions and will:

  • Ensure a uniform and predictable cost of greenhouse gas emissions across the economy;
  • Let market prices drive the selection of solutions;
  • Minimize regulatory complexity and administrative costs while maximizing transparency;
  • Promote global participation; and
  • Provide flexibility for future adjustments in response to scientific developments and the economic consequences of climate policies.

ExxonMobil has for many years held the view that a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the best option to fulfill these key principles. Instead of subsidies and mandates that distort markets, stifle innovation, and needlessly raise energy costs, a carbon tax could help create the conditions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that spurs new efficiencies and technologies.

The revenue-neutral carbon tax could be a workable policy framework for countries around the world – and be the policy most likely to preserve the ability of every sector of society to seek new efficiencies and technologies. The province of British Columbia in Canada has instituted a carbon tax that, while not perfect, offers policymakers a model of what such a system might entail.

As the policy dialogue has unfolded, we have not waited to do our part to meet this global challenge. We have long taken action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, providing products that help consumers reduce their emissions, supporting research into technology breakthroughs, and participating in constructive dialogue on policy options with NGOs, industry, and policy makers.

We encourage those gathered in Paris to embrace a principled approach to climate change risk. Such an approach holds great promise for ensuring that effective action will be taken to meet this global challenge.



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