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Shell CEO: We’ll cut emissions faster, but the world needs to use less oil


In a statement released Wednesday, the CEO of the oil company, Ben van Beurden, said he was determined “to rise to the challenge”. But he kept open the possibility of appealing the landmark decision which he said “singled out” Shell and was “not the answer” to tackling the climate crisis.
Efforts to make the global energy system greener must meet the demand for fossil fuel products and not just the supply, he added.

The Dutch court ordered Shell to reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels. It was the first time a judge has ordered a company to comply with the Paris Agreement , which aims to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Shell aimed to reduce the carbon intensity of its activities and products by 20% by 2030 and by 45% by 2035. Carbon intensity refers to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with each unit. of energy sold by the company.

The Anglo-Dutch company also announced in September its intention to become a net zero emissions company by 2050, a target that includes the 90% of its emissions generated by the use of its products.

“But now we’re going to look for ways to cut emissions even further in a way that remains focused and cost-effective. This will likely mean taking bold but measured steps over the next few years,” said the CEO of Shell. Wednesday.

Legal experts called the ruling “groundbreaking” and said similar cases could be brought against other oil companies, which are already under increasing pressure from shareholders and activists to ditch fossil fuels and invest in it. cleaner sources of energy.

Van Beurden said the energy transition was too important for a single company to tackle. It would take a global effort.

“We need to work together, with society, governments and our customers to achieve real and meaningful change in the global energy system,” he said.

Shell’s latest investment plan plans to invest between $ 2 billion and $ 3 billion per year in renewables and hydrogen. And while he believes his oil production peaked in 2019, he still plans to invest around $ 8 billion a year in oil exploration and production.

“For a long time, we plan to continue supplying energy in the form of oil and gas products both to meet customer demand and to maintain a financially strong business,” Van Beurden said on Wednesday.

If Shell stopped selling gasoline and diesel overnight, it would significantly reduce its emissions but not change the demand for fuel. Customers would “fill their cars and delivery trucks at other service stations,” Van Beurden said.

Shell will work with its customers to reduce their emissions and increase demand for low-carbon products, but government policy and regulation is also needed, he added. “Greater collaboration between governments, businesses and customers will allow us and others to grow our low-carbon energy business in the fastest way.

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