Arctic drilling in the Alberta Tar Sands kris krüg/Flickr

ExxonMobil’s Dangerous Business Strategy

This week, the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic Committee, chaired by the CEO of ExxonMobil, released a report calling on the US government to proceed with Arctic drilling for oil and gas, without mentioning climate change. This is just the latest reminder of the threat that ExxonMobil’s business model poses to the world.

NEW YORK – ExxonMobil’s current business strategy is a danger to its shareholders and the world. We were reminded of this once again in a report of the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic Committee, chaired by ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. The report calls on the US government to proceed with Arctic drilling for oil and gas – without mentioning the consequences for climate change.

While other oil companies are starting to speak straightforwardly about climate change, ExxonMobil’s business model continues to deny reality. That approach is not only morally wrong; it is also doomed financially.

The year 2014 was the hottest on instrument record, a grim reminder of the planetary stakes of this year’s global climate negotiations, which will culminate in Paris in December. The world’s governments have agreed to keep human-induced warming to below 2º Celsius (3.6º Fahrenheit). Yet the current trajectory implies warming far beyond this limit, possibly 4-6º Celsius by the end of this century. The answer, of course, is to shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy like wind and solar power, and to electric vehicles powered by low-carbon electricity.

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