Energy Quote of the Day: Big Oil Addresses Climate Change

on February 16, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Oil Prices Continue To Rise With Demand

This speech is important.

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden says that it is time for the oil industry to join the debate over climate change. Shell has long advocated for a price on carbon, but in a speech Thursday in London he took the message farther by saying:

“Our sector needs to enter into the public debate alongside other credible parties — ranging from academics to non-governmental organizations and policymakers. Together, we can offer some realism and practicality to the debate.

“Climate change is real. And yes, renewables are an indispensable part of the future energy mix. But provoking a sudden death of fossil fuels isn’t a plausible plan.

“The world’s energy needs will underpin the use of fossil fuels for decades to come. So, rather than ruling them out, the focus should remain on lowering their carbon emissions. Three things are crucial to achieving that goal.

“Firstly, a shift from coal to natural gas. When burnt for power, gas produces half the CO2 coal does.

“Secondly, carbon capture and storage. CCS fitted to power plants can be a real game-changer.

“Thirdly, and most importantly, a well-executed carbon pricing system. This would help promote natural gas as well as CCS, and a whole range of other low-carbon technologies.”

Read the entire speech here.