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2543Chap3 16/7/03 9:58 am Page 43 3 The climate strategies of the oil industry Oil companies want to sell as much oil and gas as possible at the highest possible price. Still, a quick glance at the web pages of Shell, ExxonMobil and Statoil (as well as other US and Europeanbased oil companies) reveals significant differences in their perceptions of climate change. What are the strategies adopted by ExxonMobil, the Shell Group and Statoil on the climate issue? Do they merely use different rhetoric to please their clients, consumers and employees, or is the

in Climate change and the oil industry
Common problem, varying strategies

Multinational corporations are not merely the problem in environmental concerns, but could also be part of the solution. The oil industry and climate change provide the clearest example of how the two are linked; what is less well known is how the industry is responding to these concerns. This book presents a detailed study of the climate strategies of ExxonMobil, Shell and Statoil. Using an analytical approach, the chapters explain variations at three decision-making levels: within the companies themselves, in the national home-bases of the companies and at an international level. The analysis generates policy-relevant knowledge about whether and how corporate resistance to a viable climate policy can be overcome. The analytical approach developed by this book is also applicable to other areas of environmental degradation where multinational corporations play a central role.

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renewable energy. The oil industry will be severely affected by regulatory measures to curb GHG emissions. With its multinational companies linked in worldwide operations, the oil industry constitutes a global industry operating in a global market. The business opportunities and challenges offered by the problem of climate change would thus appear to be the same for all large oil companies. This implies that the climate strategies of each oil company should also be the same. As stated above, however, this is not the case. The significant changes and differences apparently

in Climate change and the oil industry
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2543Chap7 16/7/03 9:59 am Page 196 7 Concluding remarks How different are the climate strategies adopted by major oil companies? Why do they choose different strategies, and what triggers changes? In addressing these questions, we have made an effort to identify the key conditions determining the climate strategies of large oil companies. The oil industry makes a living from the main sources of GHG emissions and exercises significant political influence at both national and international levels. A natural strategy for oil companies has been to eschew

in Climate change and the oil industry

2543Chap4 16/7/03 9:58 am Page 74 4 The Corporate Actor model The previous chapter demonstrated the striking differences in the climate strategies of ExxonMobil, the Shell Group and Statoil. While ExxonMobil has adopted a reactive strategy, Shell has chosen a proactive response, and Statoil has adopted a strategy representing a hybrid between these two positions. In this chapter we explore the explanatory power of the approach we have labelled the Corporate Actor (CA) model. To recapitulate our discussion from chapter 2, the CA model suggests that

in Climate change and the oil industry

2543Chap5 16/7/03 9:58 am Page 104 5 The Domestic Politics model Company-specific differences between ExxonMobil, Shell and Statoil can shed light on differences in their climate strategies to only a limited extent. Chapter 4 revealed that company-specific features with implications for climate strategies are marked more by similarities than differences. The CA model is also incapable of explaining changes in corporate climate strategies. We explore whether the national political contexts in which the companies operate prove more capable of explaining

in Climate change and the oil industry
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’s climate strategy, with an emphasis on factors such as environmental risk, environmental reputation and organisational learning capacity. The second model, referred to as the Domestic Politics (DP) model, is based on the assumption that even multinational companies are heavily influenced by the framework conditions of their home-base countries in which they have their historical roots, have located their headquarters and have their main activities. This model is based on theories of state–society relationships and highlights social demands for environmental quality

in Climate change and the oil industry

2543Chap6 16/7/03 9:59 am Page 158 6 The International Regime model In the preceding chapters, we have analysed the climate strategy choices of the oil industry as a function of company-specific factors (the CA model analysed in chapter 4) and of factors linked to the domestic political context in the home-base countries of the companies (the DP model analysed in chapter 5). These models have provided us with some answers as to why the climate strategies of the oil companies differ, but have left other questions unanswered. In particular, we do not have a

in Climate change and the oil industry

indicate a participatory perspective to legitimise political action with a cross-generational time horizon. On the other hand, the Climate Commission’s 500-page report – Proposals for a Swedish Climate Strategy – leads one to think of an imminent battle rather than common democratic deliberations. As it turns out, both commissions seem to play on themes not totally in harmony with the ideas of democratic citizen participation. Contrary to the perspectives of the Democracy Commission, we are here confronted with a top-down perspective, where actions are to be taken not in

in Sweden and ecological governance
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The knowledge base of ecological governance

. On the very uncertainty-ridden problem of climate change, Swedish policy-makers and international negotiators from the outset worked quite closely with leading Swedish scientists and experts. Although this relationship may have weakened somewhat after 1998, as evidenced by the treatment of science in the Climate Commission’s report on Sweden’s future climate strategy, efforts are now (spring 2003) underway to strengthen Swedish climate research (see www.mistraresearch.se). Finally, the spectacular tunnel case implies that even in areas strongly protected by

in Sweden and ecological governance