Ben van Beurden, chief executive of the Shell oil and gas group, has responded for the first time to a judge’s decision that his company must do more to combat climate change. He says he is disappointed with the ruling, but he also promises that his company will become more sustainable more quickly.
In a LinkedIn message, Van Beurden said he was surprised by the verdict and a little over two weeks later, he’s still disappointed.
Van Beurden writes: “I am still disappointed that Shell has made provision that I don’t think will help reduce CO2 emissions.” “But with my colleagues I also feel something else: the determination to take on the challenge.”
Concretely, this means reducing CO2 emissions by 45 percent by 2030. Shell itself has set a target of at least 20 percent. Van Beurden has yet to say how Shell intends to achieve the new goals.
not the solution
The Hague court ruled two weeks ago in a case brought by Meliodefense against Shell, among others. According to the judge, Shell has a global responsibility to reduce carbon dioxide emissions more quickly and the company must work on this in the short term.
Van Beurden says he needs help from the community for this acceleration. “The energy transformation is too big for a single company to solve. We need to work together, with society, governments and our customers, to make a meaningful change in global energy consumption.”
“A court ordering one energy company to cut emissions – and customers’ emissions – is not the answer.” He says that if Shell stops oil and gas, other companies will be willing to take on the role of the company.
Moreover, the CEO of Shell says the company will likely appeal. The judge’s ruling states that Shell cannot wait for an appeal before amending the policy.