Exxon Mobil Corp.
XOM,
+0.99%

is considering a pledge to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would amount to a significant strategic shift by the oil company.

In March 2020, Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods described ambitious carbon reduction targets made by some European rivals as nothing more than a “beauty competition,” saying the pledges lacked tangible plans to achieve them.

Woods and others on Exxon’s board are now giving the same idea serious debate, the people said. Mr. Woods is facing pressure from investors to demonstrate a bolder path to reducing emissions. Following a bruising proxy fight this year, an activist hedge fund elected three new members to the company’s board.

The Irving, Texas, company hasn’t made a final decision on a net-zero pledge, according to the people. It plans to unveil a series of strategic moves on environmental and other issues before the end of the year, the people said.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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