In truly shocking news from Bloomberg this weekend, we learned that Exxon Mobil, the fourth largest climate polluter in the history of fossil fuel companies, has no plans whatsoever to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, the company plans to expand its operations and increase emissions by 17 per cent by 2025. Bloomberg reports: "The additional 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year that would result from ramping up production dwarfs Exxon's projections for its own efforts to reduce pollution, such as deploying renewable energy and burying some carbon dioxide."
Other fossil fuel giants like BP and Shell have been releasing plans to cut production or achieve net zero emissions, however these promises, like most attempts at corporate greenwashing, fall short. A new report by Oil Change International examines the new suite of corporate promises to reduce emissions and finds that "none come close to aligning their actions with the urgent 1.5°C global warming limit as outlined by the Paris Agreement."
Jokes aside, this isn't really news, but a good reminder
Corporations will always do whatever they are allowed to do in order to make money. In this case, no one is really stopping Exxon Mobil from continuing to accelerate the climate crisis, and as long as they can make some cash, I would expect them to carry on.
It's unreasonable to expect that corporations will curb emissions and cut production unless they are required to. It is the job of movements and organizations like the Council of Canadians to create the conditions under which Exxon and other fossil fuel corporations are required to stop extracting, exploring and transporting fossil fuels – a job we're doing with gusto!
Our social movements, with leadership from Indigenous Peoples and People of Colour, can take credit for blocking and delaying all kinds of fossil fuel infrastructure – pipelines, coal mines and fracking, to name a few.
Meanwhile, grassroots movements have been responsible for shaping new legislation and case law: around the world youth are suing governments for inaction on climate change; Indigenous youth are organizing to defend Indigenous rights while taking climate action; and numerous groups including the Council are defending carbon taxes in court. People are reimagining the way we use natural resources, and redefining the decision-making structures around how those resources are developed.
We're defending the rights of people – all people – to live with dignity and safety, and more and more we're winning.