| More

Show All

Overview

Overview

Chevron shares the concerns of governments and the public about climate change and recognizes that the use of fossil fuels to meet the world's energy needs is a contributor to an increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Earth's atmosphere.

GHGs come from a variety of sources—power generation, transportation, agriculture and land use, manufacturing, and other activities. Fossil fuels—coal, crude oil and natural gas—release carbon dioxide during production and consumption. Fossil fuels also are the primary source of energy for the global economy, which is in the midst of a long-term expansion that is contributing to a rising quality of life in many parts of the world, particularly in developing countries. Based on current projections of population and economic growth, the world's demand for energy will increase substantially over the next 25 years. The majority of that energy will be provided by fossil fuels, even as lower-carbon alternatives continue to emerge.

As we work to reduce GHGs, our collective challenge is to create solutions that protect the environment without undermining the growth of the global economy. We offer the following seven principles as guideposts for the development of policies.

1 Global Engagement

The reduction of GHGs must be shared equitably by the top emitting countries of the world through long-term and coordinated national frameworks.

GHGs do not recognize sovereign borders. It will require integrated and flexible global carbon management to effect change. Most emissions come from a relatively small number of countries, with absolute levels currently highest in developed countries, but emissions rising the fastest in developing countries. Equitable sharing among all top emitting nations will promote the efficacy of GHG reductions and will help ensure that individual countries are not put at a competitive disadvantage.

2 Energy Security

Oil, coal and natural gas are expected to dominate energy supply for decades to come. Climate policy must recognize the role these critical energy sources play to ensure security of supply and economic growth.

To meet projected global energy demand, we will need all the energy we can develop.

Reliable, affordable energy supplies are crucial to the development of strong economies, sustained improvements in the quality of life and the eradication of poverty. Even with accelerated development of low-carbon and noncarbon energy sources, fossil fuels will continue to provide most of the world's energy needs. So future efforts must be twofold: advance the development of noncarbon alternatives and develop ways to reduce emissions from fossil fuels.

3 Maximize Conservation

Energy efficiency and conservation are the most immediate and cost-effective sources of "new" energy, with no GHG emissions. Government programs to promote energy efficiency and conservation must continue and should be enhanced.

Maximize ConservationEnlarge Image

In addition, the private sector should increase efforts to enhance efficiency in everything from manufacturing and transportation to building management and construction.

Finally, consumers should be committed to behaviors and decisions that can minimize their individual carbon footprints.

4 Measured and Flexible Approach

GHG reduction objectives must avoid a disruptive economic impact and allow for realistic turnover of capital and a phase-in of new, low-carbon technologies.

Measured and Flexible ApproachEnlarge Image

As new scientific and economic impact information becomes available, we as a society should evaluate our performance.

As we develop policies, we need to remain pragmatic, realistic and flexible about solutions. It took a century to create the modern energy industry and half as long to realize groundbreaking advances such as the computer industry and the development of the Internet. Addressing climate change in a meaningful way is a far more complex, long-term proposition, requiring implementation of multiple solutions. Along the way, it will require periodic assessments to determine if we are achieving the right results from climate change policies, if we’re sharing actions equitably, and if global economic growth continues.

5 Broad, Equitable Treatment

Broad, Equitable TreatmentEnlarge Image

Broad and equitable treatment of all sectors of the economy is necessary to ensure no sector or company is disproportionately burdened.

GHGs are a function of many activities, from manufacturing and agriculture to how we power our homes and how much we drive. We should implement policies equitably across all sectors so that all significant sources of emissions are addressed. This broadly shares the challenge of emissions reduction, making it more likely to succeed and creating a level playing field.

6 Enable Technology

Government support and partnerships with the private sector for collaborative research and development in carbon mitigation and clean energy technologies must proceed at an accelerated pace.

Emerging technology and as-yet-unknown technological breakthroughs have the potential to significantly reduce GHG emissions if they can be developed at commercial scale. At the same time, we should realize there is no "silver bullet," and climate change benefits will come from multiple solutions that will be developed over time. Having the right policies in place that encourage capital investment in technology and infrastructure will help.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Technology can create enhanced energy efficiency across a wide range of activities. Buildings, for example, directly and indirectly generate substantial emissions. New advances in design and construction, such as ventilated double-skin facades, glass coatings and advanced batteries that can store solar power, can significantly reduce power demand and lower CO2 emissions.

Natural Gas

Natural Gas

Natural gas is approximately half as CO2 intensive as coal per unit of electricity generated. New technology can enable the efficient production and transportation of natural gas supplies for power generation as well as the development of ultraclean diesel fuel from natural gas.

Biofuels and Renewables

Biofuels and Renewables

Technology is advancing across a wide range of renewable energy sources—biofuels, wind, solar, geothermal and others. Cellulosic conversion technology, for example, is currently under development to enable a wide variety of agricultural and forest waste to be manufactured into low-carbon transportation fuels.

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power is another option in the energy portfolio and does not emit carbons. Significant strides have been made in safely operating nuclear plants and improvements need to continue. We also need to continue developing ways to store nuclear waste.

Carbon Capture and Storage

Carbon Capture and Storage

CO2 resulting from the production and combustion of fossil fuels can be captured and stored with current technologies, but at great costs. To capture a significant amount of the world's CO2 emissions, particularly from coal-fired power plants, will require new, large-scale infrastructure. Initiatives are under way to advance this technology. Further reducing costs and assessing the commercial scale of this technology is critical.

7 Transparency

The costs, risks, trade-offs and uncertainties associated with climate policies must be openly communicated.

Developing solutions of the scale required by the climate change challenge will be a complex endeavor. It is vitally important to understand and fully communicate the economic and social costs of various policies and the projected environmental benefits, both in the near term and the long term, so we can agree on solutions that are equitable, balanced and effective.

Updated: May 2013