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Shell CEO: Climate change is our biggest issue

07 Mar 2018 1:30 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said Wednesday that climate change is the biggest issue facing the energy sector, encouraging the European oil major to invest more in cleaner-burning gas and renewable energy.

Shell aims to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2050 while shifting its roughly 50-50 oil and gas balance to a portfolio that's closer to 70 percent gas, van Beurden said at the CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston. Shell already is the world's leader in liquefied natural gas.

"There's no other issue with the potential to disrupt our industry on such a deep and fundamental level," van Beurden said of climate change and the need to help meet the Paris climate accord goals, even though the United States plans to split from the agreement under the Trump administration.

The emphasis goes beyond making Shell's own operations cleaner and more efficient because most of the emissions come from Shell's products after they are sold. So Shell intends to invest more in offshore wind farms, biofuels, carbon capture projects and the planting of trees and forests.

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