News Roundups

Exxon cuts 15% of workforce, New York to regulate banks on climate risk, and more

Daily news headlines about the stimulus and recovery from October 30, 2020.

Exxon to Slash Up to 15% of Global Workforce, Including 1,900 Jobs in U.S.

Exxon Mobil Corp. said it expects to shed as much as 15% of its global workforce over the next year, including 1,900 jobs in the U.S., as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the oil industry.

The steep job cuts, which follow similar layoff announcements by rivals Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron Corp., are part of a wholesale effort by the beleaguered industry to restructure itself to weather the worst downturn in a generation. In all, big oil producers and services firms are collectively shedding more than 50,000 jobs.

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How Exxon Silences Staff Alarmed by the Climate Crisis, According to a Former Employee

At a town hall meeting for Exxon employees earlier this year, one of the company’s trusted technical experts decided to raise the touchy subject of climate change. “Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this critical topic,” Enrique Rosero said during a Q&A at the event, according to a written version of his remarks. “The documented efforts of the industry lobby promoting obfuscation and denial were shortsighted and irresponsible, and our sponsorship of it, shameful. Yet, none of us here participated in those decisions.”

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There’s No Such Thing as Climate-Neutral Stimulus

Months into a pandemic that has caused unprecedented economic destruction and just days away from an election that will have a profound effect on the future of climate policy, the Roosevelt Institute has issued a new set of recommendations outlining how the U.S. federal government would “solve multiple problems with a single investment of time and money.”

“The choice facing policymakers is not ‘climate-friendly’ policies or ‘climate-neutral’ policies,” the authors write in their report, titled “A Green Recovery.” “All stimulus policies have the potential to affect emissions levels, even if they do not directly relate to climate or emissions.”

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UK, US energy stimulus packages 'weighted heavily in favor of fossil fuels': Wartsila

UK and US stimulus packages for energy announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are heavily weighted to support legacy fossil fuel energy, according to an Oct. 29 report by Finland-based engineering company Wartsila.

The packages miss the opportunity to create green jobs and accelerate the transition to a flexible, renewable energy-powered economy, Wartsila said, referencing data compiled by Energypolicytracker.org.

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New York to regulate banks for climate change risks, marking breakthrough

New York's top financial regulator on Thursday directed banks to start taking climate change risks into consideration when managing their operations, marking the boldest move yet by a U.S. official to impose climate-related rules on financial firms.

New York Superintendent of Financial Services Linda Lacewell outlined her expectations in a letter to banks, money transmitters and virtual currency companies operating in the state. She warned that climate change poses major financial risks to companies under her supervision — not only to individual institutions, but to the broader financial system.

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Too few companies disclose financial hit from climate change, regulator says

Too few companies specify their prospective financial hit from climate change under a voluntary global disclosure code that needs wider backing from asset managers and others to be fully effective, a global regulatory body said on Thursday.

Climate change can reduce the value of assets or subject companies to costs from flooding and other weather-related events, and a body dubbed the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) in 2017 published a voluntary set of disclosures to help inform investors.

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