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Exxon CEO backs mandatory emissions reports

Date: 13-Feb-03
Country: USA

"We voluntarily report our emissions and back mandatory reporting based on effective and reliable procedures as essential preconditions to policies that target emission reductions," Raymond told a Cambridge Energy Research Associates conference.

Exxon Mobil has long been the focus of environmentalists' anger for its perceived reluctance to acknowledge the growing scientific data showing the role fossil fuels play in climate change.

Carbon dioxide emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes are widely believed to contribute to global warming, which scientists say could lift sea levels and submerge island states and sharply alter weather patterns, increasing the frequency of severe storms.

Raymond said Exxon Mobil was researching cleaner energy sources, including hydrogen-based technologies, but said tremendous advances were needed for economically viable alternatives.

"To make a real reduction in emissions without impairing prosperity, we will need technology comparable to that deployed in the effort to explore space, to engineer new types of drugs based on recombinant technology or to develop personal computing," he said.

Last year, Exxon Mobil said it would donate $100 million to Stanford University to research viable energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. General Electric Co. (GE.N), Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB.N) and Germany's E.ON AG (EONG.DE) have also sponsored the project.

Measuring emissions from companies that burn fossil fuels is seen as a precursor to developing an emissions exchange or "cap and trade" system under which polluters who exceed their pollution allotment can buy other companies' excess emission rights.

Supporters, including many industries, have said such a trading system is the most economical method to reduce greenhouse gas output.

The European Union issued a proposal earlier this month to improve its monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions, and is expected to launch an emissions trading system in coming years.

The Chicago Climate Exchange said last month it would launch an Internet-based market this spring for carbon dioxide and methane, another greenhouse gas.

The Bush administration, which pulled the United States out of the global warming Kyoto Protocol pact in 2000, has been collecting written pledges from industries to curb greenhouse gas emissions in a drive to stave off mandatory controls, The New York Times reported in January.

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