ExxonMobil Refutes Report On Climate Change Research

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Ken Cohen

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ExxonMobil Corporation has faulted media and environmental activists’ allegations that the company’s climate researches were inaccurate and deliberately misleading. The company said in the last 40 years it had supported development of climate science in partnership with governments and academic institutions, and would continue to do the work in an open and transparent way.

Ken Cohen, vice president, public and government affairs, ExxonMobil, said activists deliberately cherry-picked statements attributed to various company employees to wrongly suggest definitive conclusions were reached decades ago by company researchers. Cohen said the activists took the statements out of context and ignored other readily available statements demonstrating that the researchers recognised the developing nature of climate science at the time which, in fact, mirrored global understanding.

Cohen said the facts were that the company identified the potential risks of climate change and had taken the issue very seriously. “We embarked on decades of research in collaboration with many parties, including the Department of Energy, leading academic institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and others to advance climate science.

“ExxonMobil scientists continue to research and publish findings to improve understanding of climate system science as a basis for society’s response to climate change and have produced more than 50 peer-reviewed publications on topics including the global carbon cycle, detection and attribution of climate change, low carbon technologies and analysis of future scenarios for energy and climate.

“ExxonMobil scientists have been selected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations’ most authoritative body on the subject, as authors of their past four major assessment reports, and have contributed to National Research Council boards and committees on climate change. We recognize that our past participation in broad coalitions that opposed ineffective climate policies subjects us to criticism by climate activist groups. We will continue to advocate for policies that reduce emissions while enabling economic growth,” he said.

The allegations against ExxonMobil researchers were contained in reports distributed by InsideClimate News, anti-oil and gas activist organisation, and the Los Angeles Times, prompting attacks by Bernie Sanders and Sheldon Whitehouse, senators of the United States as well as their House of Representatives counterparts in Ted Lieu and Mark DeSaulnier. Both InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times were reported to have ignored evidence provided by the company of continuous and publicly available climate research that refuted their claims.

Since 2009, ExxonMobil has supported a revenue-neutral carbon tax as the preferred policy approach for emission reduction because it ensures a uniform and predictable cost of carbon, allows market prices to drive solutions, maximises transparency to stakeholders, reduces administrative complexity, promotes global participation, and is easily adjusted to future developments in climate science and policy impacts.

ExxonMobil joined other companies to provide initial and ongoing funding to create and support the MIT Joint Program on Climate Science and Policy and Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project, which has engaged scores of researchers, faculty and students and has resulted in hundreds of scientific publications on climate change and low carbon technologies.

The company has an active research programme into lower-carbon emission technologies, such as algae and cellulosic-based bio fuels, carbon capture and storage and advanced engines to name a few.

— Oct 26, 2015 @ 14:20 GMT

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