Saturday, April 08, 2006

ExxonMobil says it recognises the risks of climate change

Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil says it recognises the risks of climate change
but gas fired power and technological advances hold the answer, not renewable resources or carbon trading schemes.

ExxonMobil Australia chairman Mark Nolan says the company does not believe climate change has been conclusively scientifically proven, but it is still taking the risk seriously.

"Our position is that the science is uncertain but given that it is uncertain
there is a risk,"
he says

"We treat the climate change issue very seriously and I
would say that we certainly do a lot to address it."

Mr Nolan told an American Chamber of Commerce lunch in Melbourne that carbon trading schemes did not address the problem in the long term and the company had put this view to the Australian government.

"In talking to the government here, frankly, we are
trying to dissuade them away from that - our focus as a company has always been on the role of technology,"
he said.

Mr Nolan applauded the creation this year of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, made up of the US, Australia, China, India, Japan and Korea, which he said was focussed on finding technological solutions to climate change.

ExxonMobil has forecast that by 2030 global energy demand will increase 50 per cent to 334 million barrels per day of oil equivalent (mbdoe) from current levels of 205 mbdoe.

It says renewable energy will not play a big role and by 2030 will account for only one per cent of Australian demand.

But ExxonMobil forecasts the contribution of gas in Australia will double by 2030 when it will account for 40 per cent of energy needs.

Mr Nolan said tax imbalances were discouraging gas fired power generation, with offshore gas in Victoria taxed by the Commonwealth at more than 15 times the rate of the state tax for coal.

"The biggest near term opportunity for greenhouse gas
reductions in Australia can be achieved without high cost carbon taxes emission trading schemes but simply by levelling the playing field from a tax point of view and encouraging more gas in base load power generation,"
he said


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