Emissions

Providing reliable, affordable energy to support prosperity and enhance living standards is coupled with the need to do so in ways that reduce impacts on the environment, including the risks of climate change. This is society’s dual challenge and ExxonMobil takes it seriously.

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Emissions
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Providing reliable, affordable energy to support prosperity and enhance living standards is coupled with the need to do so in ways that reduce impacts on the environment, including the risks of climate change.

Billions of people need reliable, affordable energy every day, but use of energy is contributing to CO2 emissions. Progress on society’s energy and climate objectives requires practical approaches and new technology solutions that enable human development and economic progress.

Solutions require the cooperation and collaboration of governments, academia, the business community, and consumers around the world.

Governments play an important role in developing and enacting policies that seek to address climate change risks in the most practical and cost-effective way. 

Policies that promote innovation can expand the available options society has for providing access to energy while reducing impacts on the environment. Additionally, policies that harness the flexibility of free markets and competition can quickly scale the best solutions for each sector within a country. 

Effective policy frameworks will be critical to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and meet society’s need for reliable and affordable energy.

Energy-related CO2 emissions peak

Global energy-related CO2 emissions - billion tonnes
Image Energy-related CO2 emissions peak
  • Policy choices, consumer preferences and technology play a role in balancing energy supply and demand and the effects on emissions.
  • From 2000 to 2019, the economic expansion in Asia Pacific saw CO2 emissions substantially rise, only partially offset by reductions in Europe and North America. 
  • Global annual CO2 emissions are likely to plateau around 2025 to 2030, at a level just above 2019 emissions, as countries try to reduce the emissions intensity of their economies.
  • This emissions projection in the chart above tracks within the estimated range of emissions implied by the Nationally Determined Contributions for 2030 as currently submitted by the countries as part of the Paris Agreement. However, these NDCs are not on a 2°C pathway and the policies are not yet in place to deliver these NDCs. (*)
  • A shift to less carbon-intensive sources of electricity (for example, renewables, nuclear and natural gas) will reduce the CO2 intensity of delivered electricity in 2050 by about 55% compared to 2019.
  • Efficiency gains and growing use of less carbon-intensive energy will help reduce industrial CO2 emissions relative to GDP by about 60% over the Outlook period.
  • Transportation represents about 25% of CO2 emissions today, and this share is likely to grow modestly to 2050, driven by expanding commercial transportation activity.
  • Global light-duty vehicle CO2 emissions are expected to peak in the early 2020s before falling by more than 30% by 2050, as more efficient conventional vehicles and electric cars gain significant share.

(*) Source: UNEP (2021), https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/36990/EGR21.pdf

All sectors contributing to restrain CO2 emissions growth

Global energy-related CO2 emissions - billion tonnes
Image All sectors contributing to restrain CO2 emissions growth
  • A shift to less carbon-intensive sources of electricity (e.g., renewables, nuclear and natural gas) will reduce the CO2 intensity of delivered electricity in 2040 by more than 35 percent compared to 2017
  • Efficiency gains and growing use of less carbon-intensive energy will help reduce industrial CO2 emissions relative to GDP by about 50 percent over the Outlook period
  • Transportation represents about 25 percent of CO2 emissions today, and this share is likely to grow modestly to 2040 driven by expanding commercial transportation activity
  • Global light-duty vehicle CO2 emissions are expected to peak in the early 2020s before falling by more than 15 percent from that peak by 2040, as more efficient conventional vehicles and electric cars gain significant share
  • The primary driver of increasing global CO2 emissions between 2000 and 2019 was economic growth, as global GDP expanded about 80%.
  • Improving energy efficiency (energy use per unit of GDP) helped slow the growth in emissions, while global CO2 intensity of energy use remained fairly constant, with increased coal use in some non-OECD countries offsetting emission reductions in the OECD countries.
  • As the world’s economy more than doubles by 2050, technology will be essential to mitigate emissions. The Outlook projects a sustained improvement of CO2 intensity (more solar, wind, nuclear, coal to gas switch, carbon capture and storage) in addition to accelerated efficiency gains.
  • By 2050, efficiency and emissions intensity reduction are expected to contribute to a nearly 60% decline in the carbon intensity of the global economy.

Want to learn more about energy-related CO2 emissions and ExxonMobil’s views?

 

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