This paper explores the different climate change strategies chosen by three major multinational oil corporations: ExxonMobil, TotalFinaElf and BP Amoco. They are referred to, respectively, as the "fight against emission constraints", "wait and see", and "proactive" strategies. The justifications given to support these strategies are identified. They cover the business, scientific, political, economic, technological and social dimensions.In a business ethics framework, the issue of climate change brings forth an ethical dilemma for the oil industry, in the form of a tension between profits and CO2 emissions. The strategies are analysed as three attitudes towards this dilemma: (i) placing priority on the business consequences while weakening the perception that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change; (ii) avoiding responsibility; and (iii) placing priority on the need for a modification of the business process while limiting the negative effect in terms of business consequences.In conclusion, the authors propose that beyond the ethical issues proper to climate change itself, additional ethical issues are raised if society at large is instrumentalised by an industry in its search for profit. Publicly gauging and valorising the ethical commitment of a corporation appear as ways of inducing more collaborative and proactive attitudes by business actors.