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Oil Exporting Companies Could be Doomed by Rapid Energy Transition

Being in the Oil and gas industry is challenging. Amid a global move to renewable Energy, Big has come under fire from various sources, ranging from recalcitrant financiers and investors to hostile governments and hardline climate activists. Although the world’s major exporting countries were not in the same environmental crosshairs as Big Oil, the move might have a devastating effect on those oil-dependent nations.

President Joe Biden launched an ambitious ten-year Climate Plan last month during a virtual climate summit with 41 foreign leaders, proposing a 50-52 percent reduction in US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This is nearly doubling the Obama administration’s commitment of a 26-28 percent reduction following the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Last week, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) shareholders decided to cut emissions even more; Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) lost at least two board seats to an activist hedge fund; and a Dutch court ordered Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) to cut greenhouse gas emissions harder and quicker than it had planned. Never mind that Shell had previously committed to reducing GHG emissions by 20% by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050.

That wasn’t good enough for the court at The Hague, which required a 45 percent reduction by 2030 compared to current levels. Things are looking a little hazy on a granular level. Environmental activists take advantage of the clean Energy momentum and big policy changes by governments worldwide to turn the screw on Big. But what happens when you zoom out and look at the broader picture—entire countries whose economies rely on Oil.

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