Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oil Sector Must Take Lead in Climate Debate:  Shell CEO

An oil well is seen near Denver, Colorado February 2, 2015. (Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking) Click to Enlarge.
The oil industry needs to take a leading role in the fight against climate change to introduce "realism and practicality" into the debate, the head of Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden also criticized governments of taking at times counterproductive steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"You cannot talk credibly about lowering emissions globally if, for example, you are slow to acknowledge climate change; if you undermine calls for an effective carbon price; and if you always descend into the 'jobs versus environment' argument in the public debate," van Beurden said.

Shell backed a resolution last month proposed by activist investors to force the company to recognize climate change risks by improving its transparency.

Van Beurden also criticized "inefficient or even counterproductive measures" taken by governments.

He said that Germany, while increasing the use of renewable energy sources, saw a rise in CO2 emissions in 2012 and 2013 as a result of the increased use of coal-powered plants.

"I'm well aware that the industry's credibility is an issue.  Stereotypes that fail to see the benefits our industry brings to the world are short-sighted.  But we must also take a critical look at ourselves."

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