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Will BP, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil ever reach net zero emissions?

image credit: Credit: BP

Dario Kenner's picture
Visiting Research Fellow University of Sussex

Researcher on energy transitions, oil and gas majors etc.

  • Member since 2021
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Hello everyone, I have just joined this group and would like to hear your opinion on the following questions:

1) Will BP, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil ever reach net zero emissions?

2) What is the role of policy makers in accelerating the energy transition?

3) How does the amount and type of compensation that executives and directors receive at international oil majors influence their decision-making? 

I have new peer-reviewed research seeks to answer these questions https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629621001420 

Also featured in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/15/oil-firm-ceos-pay-is-an-incentive-to-resist-climate-action-study-finds

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Looking forward to the discussion, 

Dario

Dario Kenner's picture
Thank Dario for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 7, 2021

1) Will BP, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil ever reach net zero emissions?

2) What is the role of policy makers in accelerating the energy transition?

My initial reaction is that 1 depends on 2. It's true that more companies are seeing ESG and environmental responsibility as important to do for their own sake, but in truth (and especially with companies as large as the oil majors) nothing is really done unless it helps bolster the bottom line or is regulated. On the bottom line level, the trend you see is that investors are increasing pressure to decarbonize-- but I think that will only go so far and the remaining push will have to come from policy in some form or another (whether direct regulation, carbon taxes, or other market-focused influencers)

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on May 7, 2021

Dario, welcome to Energy Central.

What immediately struck me, and will immediate rankle any scientist, is the idea one can consider possible future actions of corporations a science - or that it's possible to perform a study, using scientific method, that will arrive at a verifiable conclusion. It elevates wonder to the level of testable hypothesis, and reduces the latter to the level of the former. Both suffer in comparison.

Next were the following two contradictory statements in immediate proximity:

"Funding

Richard Heede gratefully acknowledges general financial support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund...

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper."

That authors see no known competing financial interests by accepting money from the Rockefellers, to investigate the industry that earned them that money, would be comical if it wasn't presented in such earnest.

Next - that peers might review their research to validate their wholly subjective opinions, corrupts the principle of peer review. Its purpose is neither to agree nor disagree with the authors, but to seek help from other experts in identifying errors in the authors' application of scientific method. That's all.

My wholly subjective opinion is that we need a scientific basis to guide policy on climate change. By attempting to objectify pillowy concepts like "net-zero emissions" and "energy transition", and put a scientific imprimatur on speculation about the future actions of individuals decades into the future, we're going backwards.

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