The oil giant said it will lend its support to a "mandatory national framework" to address the issue. To further its goals, it has joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a business and environmental group that wants national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
"We recognize that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate," said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive of Conoco.
Mulva said that whatever course of action is taken should be "transparent, clearly communicate the cost of carbon to consumers, be structured to avoid increasing the volatility of energy prices and encourage energy efficiency."
The plan also must be paced to match the speed at which technology can be developed and deployed to avoid undue impact on the economy and jobs, Conoco said.
Environmentalists blame greenhouse gases for causing global warming and say they therefore must be curbed. Doubters often argue that the world's climate is subject to change regardless of the activity of humans.