Former Secretary of State and ex-CEO of ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson told an industry conference in Houston he questions whether there is anything humans can do to combat climate change, Bloomberg reported.
“With respect to our ability to influence it, I think that’s still an open question,” Tillerson said Tuesday at the Argus Americas Crude Summit. “Our belief in the ability to influence it is based upon some very, very complicated climate models that have very wide outcomes.”
Tillerson’s comments stand in contrast to a number of scientists who insist cutting emissions can help slow global warming. His remarks come less than a month after New York state’s attorney general said she wouldn’t appeal a court ruling rejecting the state’s claim ExxonMobil misled investors for years about its internal planning for risks associated with climate change, Kallanish Energy finds.
ExxonMobil doesn’t dispute it produces greenhouse gases, or greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, according to court documents from the New York state case.
Tillerson said Tuesday he’s long believed climate change “is a very serious matter.” Scientists should be allowed to continue their work on global warming without fear their funding will be cut off if they come to “the wrong conclusion,” Bloomberg reported.
He said the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) is “fine,” but that modeling the impact of certain mitigation efforts on temperatures is more complicated, Bloomberg reported.
“Whether or not anything we do will ultimately influence it remains to be seen,” he said in response to a question on rising concern about climate change. “One day we’ll know the answer to that, but our ability to predict the answer to that is quite complicated.”
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