ExxonMobil's Response to Union of Concerned Scientists Report

ExxonMobil released the following statement in response to the Union of Concerned Scientists report:

From our initial review of the 63-page report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, many of the conclusions are inaccurate. Let me clarify ExxonMobil's position on climate change.

As stated in Tomorrow's Energy, a publication that may be found on our website and addresses important issues associated with energy supply and demand, including our position on climate change: "We recognize that the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere poses risks that may prove significant for society and ecosystems…Human activities have contributed to these increased concentrations [of greenhouse gases], mainly through the combustion of fossil fuels for energy use; land use changes [especially deforestation]; and agricultural, animal husbandry and waste-disposal practices…Even with many scientific uncertainties, the risk that greenhouse gas emissions may have serious impacts justifies taking action." What is clear today is that greenhouse gas emissions are one of the factors that contribute to climate change, and that the use of fossil fuels is a major source of these emissions.

ExxonMobil's actions in response are significant…in terms of making our own operations less energy intensive, in terms of pursuing research with engine and vehicle manufacturers to improve transportation efficiency and in terms of advanced research to pursue breakthroughs in technology for future energy sources. Details may be found in the Tomorrow's Energy report.

ExxonMobil scientists have undertaken climate change research and related policy analysis for 25 years and their work has produced more than 40 papers in peer-reviewed literature. In addition, our scientists serve on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and numerous related scientific bodies.

Over the years the company has supported major projects at such institutions as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics, Batelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Princeton University, Charles River Associates, the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction, the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas R & D Programme, Yale University, The University of Texas, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

In our view, public policy responses to climate change should focus on what are the most effective actions to take to address the risks, keeping in mind the areas of uncertainty and the central importance of energy to the economies of the world. This includes putting policies in place that start us on a path to reduce the likelihood of the worst outcomes…and understand the context of managing carbon emissions among other developing world priorities, such as economic development, poverty eradication and public health.

While this long term objective is pursued, near term objectives should include supporting climate research to reduce uncertainties and pace policy responses; promoting energy efficiency; deploying existing technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and supporting research and development of new, low-GHG technologies.

With regard to support ExxonMobil provides to various public policy organizations, our support extends to a fairly broad array of organizations that research significant domestic and foreign policy issues and promote discussion on issues of direct relevance to the company. For example, we support groups ranging from the Brookings Institution to the American Enterprise Institute, and from the Council on Foreign Relations to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. As most of these organizations are independent of their corporate sponsors and are tax-exempt, our financial support does not connote any substantive control over or responsibility for the policy recommendations or analyses they produce. As you might expect, in many cases and with respect to the full range of policy positions taken by these organizations, we find some of them persuasive and enlightening, and some not. But there is value in the debate they prompt if it can lead to better informed and more optimal public policy decisions.

We annually review our support of tax-exempt organizations and make appropriate adjustments. In addition, we publish the complete list of such organizations on our Web site and we update this list once per year.