Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) has announced its participation in the United Nations’ prominent methane emissions reporting initiative, marking a significant shift in the company’s approach to external monitoring of its climate change strategies, as reported by the Financial Times.
This decision underscores ExxonMobil’s commitment to transparency and aligns with the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (“OGMP”), a standardized reporting framework led by the UN Environment Program. The OGMP monitors industry emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
As several countries, including the United States, move to enforce penalties for methane emissions, ExxonMobil’s participation in OGMP reflects an industry-wide effort to address environmental concerns. The Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. is set to introduce penalties for methane emissions, reaching $900 per ton in 2024 and escalating to $1,500 per ton in 2026. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is also finalizing regulations this week, compelling companies to tackle emissions.
The OGMP, established in 2014 and upgraded to OGMP 2.0 in 2020, requires oil and gas companies to disclose comprehensive annual data on total emissions and emission intensity. Participants must set interim and long-term targets and develop plans to reduce non-emergency flaring and venting.
ExxonMobil has adopted various technologies, including sensors and optical gas imaging cameras, to monitor its oil and gas operations. These technologies detect not only large-scale methane releases but also smaller leaks from equipment within the operations.
This move by ExxonMobil to join OGMP signals a departure from its previous resistance to emissions reporting. The decision reflects the company’s responsiveness to shareholder demands for increased transparency and more robust climate targets.
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