What’s the Difference Between ExxonMobil and Shell When It Comes To Climate Change? What’s A Trillion Tons (or Tonnes) Among Friends?

Earlier this week, I posted about ExxonMobil’s shareholder disclosure.  The bookend to ExxonMobil’s disclosure is the release of the Trillion Tonne Communique by the Prince of Wale’s Corporate Leaders Group.  The Communique calls for total carbon emissions to be capped at one trillion tons, a level at which the signers have confidence that global temperature increases can be kept at or below two degrees Celsius.

In order to attain the one trillion ton cap, the Communique calls for a transition over the course of the century to planet-wide net zero carbon emissions.  In order to reach net zero emissions, according to the signers, there will have to be a “robust carbon price.”

Although the Communique does not define robust, something tells me that such a robust price is where the Communique’s signers and ExxonMobil probably part ways.  I don’t see ExxonMobil supporting a robust carbon price, enforced by regulation, any time soon.

One final note.  The Communique web site shows where its signers are located.  To date, there are 61 in Europe and 8 in North America – none of the North American signers is a large energy resource company.  Until that changes, I think that the Communique faces an uphill battle in the US.

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