Eight years after the Paris Agreement, the oil industry is thriving. Record profits and production levels are driven by factors such as fuel price increases, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the post-pandemic economic recovery. Despite the push for more sustainable energy sources, oil companies continue to grow through acquisitions and investments. Major industry players, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell, have reverted to focusing on fossil fuels while pledging to cut carbon emissions and invest in cleaner technologies. The decision to halt new drilling on federal land was expected to impact oil company stock prices, but the industry continues to grow. Many of these companies have made ambitious plans, yet are making little progress in reducing their carbon footprint, still predominantly focused on retaining the profitable, traditional energy sources. This growth is expected to be fueled by ongoing investments in emerging climate technologies and the production of critical minerals for electric vehicles. Despite the industry’s shift toward renewable energy sources, oil and gas production remain its primary focus, and change is occurring more slowly than desired due to existing massive investments in the current system. Exxon, for example, has not released a study on how society would adapt to reduced fossil fuel use, causing frustration among environmental groups and climate scientists.
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