Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden stated on Wednesday that the company wished to play a major role in fighting off climate change in the coming decades.
The European oil giant announced on Tuesday that it will be cutting its carbon footprint by 20 percent once 2035 arrives. It also aims to halve its CO2 emission by the time 2050 rolls in. The goal is seen as the company being overconfident as it counts itself among the largest oil companies worldwide.
Shell will be starting to disclose the amount of carbon emitted from its sold energy products. It currently reports on carbon emitted from its own operations but has not released any estimates that measure how much contribution the company has on global emissions.
“Our view is if society needs to tackle the dual challenge of climate change but also accommodating higher demand for energy — as of course the energy poor need to get access to energy as well — we have to reduce the carbon footprint of the energy system as a society to a net zero level,” van Bueurden said.
He then added that by the time 2050 comes around they will be cutting their carbon footprint by half.
“For a very long time, the oil industry has really refused to acknowledge that they face risk and have some responsibility for their end products,” stated Andrew Logan. “The industry has long tried to pass the buck to the end users — to drivers, to auto companies, to power companies — and argue that the problem of these emissions lies with them.”
Shell’s Financial Comeback
The Anglo-Dutch company signaled the oil industry’s financial comeback after restoring its all-cash dividend. Shell also gave the go-ahead for a $25 billion buyback as further sign of strength finally returning after financial stress that lasted three years.
The company also stated that it will be cancelling its scrip dividend program from the fourth quarter this year. The program had the company paying investors in shares rather than cash. This action signals an important milestone for the oil sector’s recovery.
Shell’s high-yielding dividend has been one of the biggest sources of investor income.
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