Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Exxon shifts on climate change

November 2002

ExxonMobil has softened its stance on global warming.

In an advertisement in the New York Times the US oil company has conceded that ‘the risk of climate change and its potential impacts on society and the ecosystem are widely recognized’, adding that ‘doing nothing is neither prudent nor responsible’. It further claims that it is now ‘taking action to minimize the risks of climate change’.

ExxonMobil has been targeted by campaign groups over the past year for its apparent refusal to accept the scientific consensus on global warming.

Greenpeace claims one million motorists are boycotting Esso petrol stations in the UK as a protest against ExxonMobil’s stance, which Deutsche Bank has described as ‘a brand risk’.

The United Nations believes climate change poses a ‘serious risk’ to the global economy. A study from the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative argues that annual losses due to natural disasters associated with global warming could reach $150billion (£96bn) in the next decade. It says the financial sector is ‘unaware of the gravity of the issue’.

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