Public Policy

In order to succeed in a low carbon economy, we must play a constructive role in public policy dialogue to devise practical, equitable and cost-effective approaches to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and address the impacts of climate change.

Effective Climate Change Policy

Our Climate Change Position outlines our principles of effective climate change policy.

These principles continue to guide our engagement on climate change policy in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and other countries in which we operate. We work with trade associations, industry peers and other key stakeholders to develop and use best practices and in efforts to align the policymaking process with our positions and principles.

Our History on Climate Change

Our approach to public policy engagement on climate change has evolved. However, we remain consistent in our view that market-based solutions at national and global levels, rather than a patchwork of less effective regulatory approaches, are most likely to be effective in reducing GHG emissions.

Shortly after the merger of Conoco and Phillips Petroleum, in 2003 we published our first global climate change position. Since then, we have consistently used our Sustainable Development report to detail our commitments, priorities and actions. We also first participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (now CDP) questionnaire in 2003.

In 2004 we described actions that we would be taking to address climate change, including:

  • Assessing data.
  • Developing objectives to reduce GHG emissions.
  • Improving operational efficiency.
  • Developing climate change considerations for project planning and approval processes.
  • Engaging in discussions on climate change through the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (now IPIECA).
  • Joining the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).

In 2005 we began trading in the EU ETS.

Through our membership in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) beginning in 2007, we actively participated in efforts to design an effective legislative approach. 
In 2008, we adopted and published our first Climate Change Action Plan to systematically address climate change risk.

In June, 2009, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR2454) (Waxman-Markey) bill passed the House of Representatives. Although the USCAP Blueprint for Legislative Action was considered influential in the design of the legislation, we had serious concerns about some of the detailed elements in the bill. Following passage of the House bill, our focus turned to addressing issues of concern in the Senate version of the legislation. In order to intensify our company’s focus and resources on addressing the key issues, including the important role that natural gas can play in reducing U.S. GHG emissions, we announced in February 2010 that the company would not be renewing our membership in USCAP.

Through this more direct engagement, we were successful in helping to develop draft legislation that incorporated a more equitable approach to energy sectors while maintaining environmental effectiveness. We issued a statement regarding the draft legislation introduced in the Senate in May 2010.

Since 2010, we’ve continued to work toward approaches that are practical and effective, including active participation in the dialogue with trade associations like the American Petroleum Institute (API), industry partners and the government to advocate smart policy solutions.

We remain opposed to less efficient, costlier and less environmentally effective policy approaches. These include using existing environmental statutes (such as the Clean Air Act in the U.S.), or developing a patchwork of state programs and technology mandates that imply targets must be met at any cost. We will continue to work constructively on effective, fit-for-purpose federal solutions, that link to binding international agreements comprising major GHG contributors, to address climate change while ensuring the continued supply of affordable, reliable energy necessary for economic growth.