ConocoPhillips Mentions “Climate” 28 Times in Its Annual Financial Report, But Fails to Outline How It Will Slash Emissions to Avoid Climate Change’s Worst Impacts

Statement by Kathy Mulvey, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Feb 19, 2019 Updated Aug 22, 2019

WASHINGTON (February 19, 2019)—Today, ConocoPhillips released its 2018 10-K, which provides insight into how the company accounts for climate change risks and opportunities related to its financial health and business operations. Most of the company’s comments on climate are carryovers from 2017. Unlike several of its competitors, ConocoPhillips explicitly acknowledged the growing number of climate damages lawsuits filed in the last two years by cities, counties, a state government and a fishermen’s trade association.

ConocoPhillips’ 10-K filings follow climate reports issued by other major investor-owned oil and gas companies, such as ExxonMobil and Chevron’s climate risk reports and BP’s commitment to support a climate-related shareholder proposal. While its competitors are in the spotlight, ConocoPhillips also faces mounting financial and legal pressure. In response, the company has incorporated some of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, which reflect mainstream investor expectations about information that should be included in financial filings.

Below is a statement by Kathy Mulvey, fossil fuel accountability campaign director at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“ConocoPhillips’ annual financial report is barely distinguishable from last year’s despite two recent landmark climate reports and a growing chorus of investors demanding action from the companies. Like BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell, ConocoPhillips has not set a company-wide target to reduce global warming emissions from its operations and the use of its products to net zero by mid-century. ConocoPhillips is more forthcoming than some of its competitors about the risks it faces from climate liability litigation. However, it continues to support trade associations and other industry groups that lobby against climate policies the company claims to support.