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Wed Oct 13, 2021, 08:01 PM

Chevron's Net-Zero "Plan" A Steaming Pile Of Offsets, CCS And Technology That Doesn't Exist

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On Monday, Chevron announced a new “aspiration” to reduce emissions from its upstream operations to net-zero by 2050, along with a separate target of reducing the carbon intensity of its products by 5 percent by 2028. That mouthful of words means the company plans to keep producing just as much oil as it always has, if not more, but emit less carbon per barrel. Activist shareholders were not impressed with the update. “Expectations are that this company begins transitioning meaningfully, and we are simply not seeing that,” said Danielle Fugere, president of the investor advocacy nonprofit As You Sow. “The 5 percent reduction announced today is insufficient to demonstrate that the company is hearing investors.”

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Chevron also plans to incorporate more carbon capture and storage technology into its operations, but the company has a poor track record on that front. Chevron’s Gorgon gas processing plant in Western Australia, which was supposed to be the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world, has so far failed to capture as much carbon as promised.

And to eliminate the last 50 percent or so of its upstream emissions by 2050, the company has no plan. In a report that accompanied the net-zero announcement, a vague roadmap says that “innovation and offsets” will eventually help the company go from emitting the equivalent of 15 kilograms of CO2 for every barrel of oil it produces down to zero. Offsets are payments made to reduce or remove carbon emissions somewhere else when you can’t do it directly — this is where the “net” in net-zero comes from — but the potential quantity of offsets is limited and their effectiveness is debated.

And at the end of the day, none of these plans will make any difference for the climate if Chevron is still producing just as much oil and gas in 2050. Andrew Logan, director of oil and gas programs at Ceres, an investor advocacy group, said in a statement that the commitment was behind the times. “Net zero operational emissions targets are simply table stakes at this point — and a number of Chevron’s U.S. peers like ConocoPhillips made such a commitment some time ago,” he said.

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https://grist.org/energy/chevrons-net-zero-climate-plan-use-wind-and-solar-power-to-drill-for-oil/

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