​Oil giants haven’t completely forgotten about climate amid crash

Methane capture technology Image: SEER

Exxon Mobil Corporation and Chevron Corporation may be feeling the fallout of a historic oil-price crash amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but they haven’t completely forgotten to give a nod to concerns about climate change.

Both oil giants mentioned green initiatives in their first-quarter earnings statements or presentations, albeit fleetingly. Exxon touted a previously announced model framework for industry-wide methane regulations, while Chevron said it planned to maintain its commitment to environmental, social and governance priorities.

“We would expect that we will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions irrespective of COVID or any of these other circumstances,” Chevron chief executive officer Mike Wirth said in a response to a question on the company’s earnings call Friday.

While Exxon and Chevron agree with the goals of the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they haven’t allocated a chunk of their multibillion-dollar capital budgets toward low-carbon energy sources, unlike their European peers. Both Wirth and Exxon CEO Darren Woods said Friday that the world will need more oil and natural gas as economic growth resumes after the pandemic.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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