Fury after Exxon chief says public to blame for climate failures

Fury after Exxon chief says public to blame for climate failures

The world is off track to meet its climate goals and the public is to blame, Darren Woods, chief executive of oil giant ExxonMobil, has claimed.

As the world’s largest investor-owned oil company, Exxon is among the top contributors to global planet-heating greenhouse gas emissions. But in an interview, published on Tuesday, Woods argued that big oil is not primarily responsible for the climate crisis.

The real issue, Woods said, is that the clean-energy transition may prove too expensive for consumers’ liking.

“The dirty secret nobody talks about is how much all this is going to cost and who’s willing to pay for it,” he told Fortune last week. “The people who are generating those emissions need to be aware of and pay the price for generating those emissions. That is ultimately how you solve the problem.”

Exxon, along with other major oil companies currently basking in record profits, is pushing ahead with aggressive fossil-fuel expansion plans.

“We want to cater to the shareholders who are real investors, who have an interest in seeing this company succeed in generating return on their investments,” he said. “We don’t feel a responsibility to activists that hijack that process … and frankly, abuse it to advance an ideology.”