Energy giant Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden said today that his company will “rise to the challenge” of meeting a court ruling mandating the company to cut emissions drastically over the next few years.
Late last month, in a landmark ruling with major implications for the oil and gas industry, a Dutch court ordered Shell to slash emissions by 45% by 2030, in a case brought to the court by non-profit environmental organization Friends of the Earth Netherlands.
The ruling came only days after shareholders overwhelmingly approved the company’s energy transition strategy, in a move that made the company the first energy major to bring its climate plans to a shareholder vote.
In a statement issued Wednesday, van Beurden said that while the company disagreed with the ruling, and intends to appeal, it will nevertheless accelerate its energy transition strategy.
Van Beurden said:
“For Shell, this ruling does not mean a change, but rather an acceleration of our strategy. We have a clear target to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050, in step with society’s progress towards achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement. We have set rigorous, short-term reduction targets along the way to make sure we achieve net zero.
“But now we will seek ways to reduce emissions even further in a way that remains purposeful and profitable. That is likely to mean taking some bold but measured steps over the coming years.”
While investing in various forms of low carbon energy, including hydrogen, wind, solar, and biofuels, the company expects to continue producing and selling oil and gas well into the future. Van Buerden stated that in order to drive a meaningful change in the global energy system, demand for carbon-based energy must be addresses alongside the supply.
Van Beurden continued:
“We may disagree with this order, but we will continue to embrace the leading role we must play in helping to develop a low-carbon energy system. This is another challenge we will rise to.”