Climate Change and the Oil Industry: Common Problems, by Jon Birger Skjaerseth, Tora Skodvin

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By Jon Birger Skjaerseth, Tora Skodvin

This quantity provides an in depth examine of the weather innovations of ExxonMobil, Shell, and Statoil. With an cutting edge analytical procedure, the authors clarify adaptations at 3 decision-making degrees: in the businesses themselves, within the nationwide home-bases of the corporations, and on the overseas point. The research generates policy-relevant wisdom approximately even if and the way company resistance to a attainable weather coverage may be triumph over.

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Extra info for Climate Change and the Oil Industry: Common Problems, Different Strategies (Issues in Environmental Politics)

Example text

Even though corporations do not participate in international regimes, their access as observers to preparatory sessions can vary significantly. We assume that influence will increase as industry has more access to decision-making processes. Decision-making procedures applied in international environmental cooperation vary as well. Unanimity is most demanding, requiring the positive approval of all parties. Under the condition of unanimity, reactive industry influence within one single state can block the efforts of all others.

First, there is a major distinction between state and private ownership. Shell and ExxonMobil are private companies, while Statoil was, until recently, fully owned by the Norwegian state. National oil companies may be less accountable to the capital market, and even when they are exposed to competition, they often operate in a privileged position with close consultative relationships with their government owners, who also regulate the industry (Noreng, 1996). It is difficult, however, to establish the weight of this factor and even the direction of its impact, but it seems reasonable to assume that government-owned companies are likely to adopt a climate strategy in accordance with the position of their government owners.

This does not necessarily mean that ExxonMobil is less likely to implement self-imposed environmental standards exceeding the level of ambition in existing environmental laws. For example, its annual report states that the company should apply ‘responsible standards’ where environmental laws and regulations do not exist (ExxonMobil, 2000a). As pointed out by Estrada et al. (1997), however, the company does not explain what it considers to be ‘responsible standards’. Also, it does not describe or discuss the potential conflict between implementation of such standards and what the company defines as its overarching goal: ‘ExxonMobil is committed to being the world’s premier petroleum and petrochemical company.

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