HOUSTON, March 31 Exxon Mobil Corp, the
world's largest publicly traded oil company, said on Monday that
risks related to climate change pose little risk to its oil and
gas reserves because the resources will be needed to meet
expected growth in energy demand.
Responding to queries from shareholder activists, the
company also said it is "confident" that none of its oil and gas
reserves will lose value or become "stranded" if governments act
to slash carbon emissions.
"We believe producing these assets is essential to meeting
growing energy demand worldwide, and in preventing consumers -
especially those in the least developed and most vulnerable
economies - from themselves becoming stranded in the global
pursuit of higher living standards and greater economic
opportunity," Exxon said in a report released in response to
call from activist shareholders.
Earlier this month, the Irving, Texas-based company agreed
to detail the risks climate change poses to its carbon assets in
exchange for the withdrawal of a shareholder proposal on the
The resolution, filed by investors from As You Sow and
Arjuna Capital, cited studies suggesting that lower demand or
prices for fossil fuels might emerge in coming years as a result
of climate change or greater carbon regulation.
Based on its previously published long-term outlook, Exxon
expects the world to require 35 percent more energy by 2040 and
greenhouse gas emissions are expected to plateau in that period.
While governments could take action that affects Exxon, the
company said it is "highly unlikely" that governments would
restrict greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent over the next 30
To mitigate risk from climate change, Exxon has a "constant
focus on efficiency" and looks for ways to reduce emissions from
its own operations, it said.
Also on Monday, the latest report from the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report that
global warming poses a growing threat to the health, economic
prospects and food and water sources of billions of people.
(Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Terry Wade and Eric