Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


Exxon Chief Warns Policymakers Against Hasty Action On Issue Of Climate Change

Feb 16 2007 (TODAY)

HOUSTON - The chief executive of Exxon Mobil, Mr Rex W Tillerson, has
warned that governments should not rush into policies that could damage
the global economy in order to limit carbon emissions, The New York Times

In a speech at a major industry gathering, Mr Tillerson acknowledged that
the planet was warming while carbon dioxide levels were increasing. This
suggested a more accommodating position than the hard-nosed stance Exxon
had held.

But Mr Tillerson - who leads the world's largest publicly-traded company -
gave an unalloyed defence of the oil industry and predicted that
hydrocarbons would dominate the world's transportation as energy demand
grows by an expected 40 per cent by 2030.

"The scale advantages of oil and natural gas across a broad array of
applications provide economic value unmatched by any alternative," he
said, adding that Exxon will continue to make oil and natural gas its
primary products.

Mr Tillerson's remarks were his first formal and extensive comments since
the publication of a report two weeks ago by the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change, a leading panel of international scientists and
reviewers, which concluded that it is 90 per cent certain that human
activity played a major role in changing the climate.

Mr Tillerson's statements suggested that Exxon was navigating between
positions defending oil as an energy source and its core business, and
showing sensitivity to growing concerns about global warming.

However, Mr Tillerson also expressed concern that policymakers could
damage the world economy with hasty environmental policies. He noted that
some scientific reports concluded with varying outcomes, indicating a
"degree of uncertainty about climate change", which should be accommodated
for in policy decisions.

Exxon has been a target of environmental groups because of its business
activities and for financing organisations that have questioned climate
science. Much of the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming
come from the burning of fossil fuels such as petrol and natural gas.