An enabling policy framework can all help to reduce emissions

An enabling policy framework can all help to reduce emissions, explains Philippe Ducom.
Photo credit: ExxonMobil Europe

By Philippe Ducom

12 Sep 2019

At the start of the new European Parliamentary term, I extend a warm welcome to recently elected MEPs. There are several challenges ahead, but few are more important than meeting the world’s growing demand for energy while reducing environmental impacts and the risks of climate change.


ExxonMobil supports the 2015 Paris Agreement and is committed to doing its part to help society meet this dual challenge. As recently highlighted by Ursula von der Leyen, Europe’s climate ambitions are “the greatest challenge and opportunity of our time.”

Climate change is a global issue that requires the collaboration of governments, private companies, consumers, and other stakeholders to create meaningful solutions. This is why I look forward to engaging with EU policymakers in helping Europe achieve its ambitions.

In our view, the long-term objective of effective European policy should be to reduce regional emissions at the lowest societal cost, while addressing affordability and energy security concerns. For more than a decade, ExxonMobil has supported an economy-wide price on CO2 emissions as an effi cient policy mechanism to address GHG emissions.

In the absence of a global revenue-neutral taxation system, an extended Emissions Trading System could also represent an attractive option for Europe. Carbon leakage protection, such as an EU Carbon Border Tax, will be required to safeguard EU industry competitiveness.

"CCS will be essential in meeting global emissions reduction goals"

Looking more broadly, we recognise that technological advancements will be instrumental in meeting rising global energy demand while also lowering GHG emissions. This is why research and development has been part of Exxon- Mobil’s DNA since our company began more than 135 years ago.

Since 2000, we have invested more than $9bn in our facilities and research to develop and deploy lower-emission energy solutions like cogeneration, algae biofuels, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

As recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CCS will be essential in meeting global emissions reduction goals. ExxonMobil is a leader in carbon-capture technologies and has captured nearly seven million tonnes of CO2 in 2017.

We are also collaborating with renowned tech company, Global Thermostat, to advance breakthrough technology that can capture and concentrate CO2 emissions from industrial sources and the atmosphere and with FuelCell Energy, Inc. in developing CO2 capture technologies using carbonate fuel cells.

Success in developing and deploying technologies will be highly dependent on governments creating a policy environment that enables innovation and competition. Policies should be clear and guard against duplicative, overlapping and confl icting regulations, which may distort markets and impose unnecessary costs on society.

Technology neutrality will be key to guaranteeing that all the relevant technologies, such as CCS, advanced biofuels and natural gas, could be deployed to achieve Europe’s climate ambitions. Every new European Parliamentary term offers an opportunity to continue to work constructively together.

We remain committed to working with you to develop the market-based, technology-neutral and science-based policy framework that will allow us to keep addressing the dual challenge.

This Thought Leader is sponsored by ExxonMobil Europe.