ConocoPhillips Becomes First Major U.S. Oil Firm To Pledge Emission Cuts

U.S. oil and gas producer ConocoPhillips unveiled on Monday a target to reduce emissions from its operations to net zero by 2045-2055 in a first announcement from a major American oil firm setting specific targets to cut its carbon footprint.

Unlike European oil majors – who have rushed to pledge various commitments to become net-zero energy companies – U.S. companies, including Exxon and Chevron, hadn’t set any such goals. For this, U.S. supermajors have received backlash from investors in recent months, including from the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock.

ConocoPhillips’ pledge announced today is weaker, on paper, compared to the net-zero ambitions of some of the European majors because the U.S. firm doesn’t include Scope 3 emissions – those generated by the customers of its fossil fuel products – in its targets.

ConocoPhillips aims to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions, the so-called operational emissions, by 35-45 percent by 2030, and has the ambition to reach net-zero of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2050, the company -said in its ‘Climate Risk Framework for the Energy Transition’ presentation on Monday.

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“Meeting the world’s demand for energy during a transition to a lower-carbon future requires an approach that recognizes the need to reduce emissions, operate responsibly and offer competitive returns. ConocoPhillips embraces a commitment to ESG excellence,” chairman and CEO Ryan Lance said.

Meanwhile, in Europe, BP said in its new strategy in August that it would reduce its oil and gas production by 40 percent by 2030 and would not enter exploration in new countries. Equinor mandated its incoming chief executive Anders Opedal—who will replace retiring Eldar Sætre in November to accelerate Equinor’s transition from an oil company to a broad energy company. Eni announced in June a “new business structure to be a leader in the energy transition,” creating an Energy Evolution division in the company to accelerate its plans to significantly boost renewable power generation and biofuels production. Shell said at the end of September that it is reorganizing for a low-carbon future, which would mean up to 9,000 job cuts by the end of 2022. Total also aims to reinvent itself into a broad energy company and will be betting on profitably growing its liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable businesses.

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