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Exxon’s Come a Long Way on Climate Change

ExxonMobil logoCompanies’ use of an internal carbon price provides evidence that industry leaders today are shifting from idealogical stances on climate change to more practical, profit-driven approaches. Case in point: ExxonMobil.

As recently as 2005, Exxon’s then-CEO was speaking publicly about his doubts on anthropogenic climate change, Verdantix notes in its report, Shifting to a Profit-Centric Paradigm for Climate Change. Since then the company has noted the way public policy is headed, and now its planning assumes a carbon cost of $60 per metric ton by 2030.

“Ultimately, we think the government will take action through a myriad of policies that will raise the prices and reduce demand” of carbon-polluting fossil fuels, Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers told the New York Times. Not only that, but the company now says it supports a carbon tax, if that policy gets paired with an equal cut elsewhere in the tax code.

Takeaway: Practical realizations of climate change’s impact on the bottom line – both as a direct effect, and through regulation – are replacing idealogical stances at companies like ExxonMobil.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

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