Shell: Oil industry must lead on climate change
Shell CEO says that the industry can not afford to be seen to be avoiding the issue of climate change
The oil industry must do more to combat climate change and introduce "realism and practicality" into the debate, the head of Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday.
"What can we as an industry do to help clear the way for a more informed debate? In the past we thought it was better to keep a low profile on the issue. I understand that tactic, but in the end it's not a good tactic," van Beurden said in excerpts of a speech he was planned to give at the International Petroleum Week dinner in London on Thursday evening.
"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.
Van Beurden said that countries in Europe needed to resharpen their focus on climate change as countries like Germany 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."
"Our industry should be less aloof, more assertive. We have to make sure that our voice is heard," the Shell boss said.
"Together, we can offer some realism and practicality to the debate."