THE Church of England Pensions Board has welcomed the declaration last week by the chief executive of Shell, Ben van Beurden, that the oil giant will now “rise to the challenge” set by a court ruling in The Hague that it must cut its worldwide net carbon emissions by 45 per cent, compared with its 2019 output.
The Board said in a statement on Wednesday of last week: “This is consistent with the discussions we have been having and continue to have with the company since the AGM, in response to the court ruling, the publication of the new International Energy Agency 1.5C net zero scenario, and the Climate Action 100+ assessment of Shell.”
The Board pledges that it will continue to engage with Shell on the implications, and how accelerating its plans will enable the company to meet the requirements of the CA100+ Net Zero Company Benchmark by 2023. “It also underlines the importance that we must all work to decarbonise the real economy to reshape energy demand and ensure all companies — energy companies and all their customers in shipping, aviation, transport, road haulage, power generation, and elsewhere — are aligning to net zero.”
Responding to the court ruling last month, Mr van Beurden said that he was surprised by the verdict. Shell, he said, had “set the pace in our industry by taking responsibility for reducing all our carbon emissions: not just those we produce ourselves, but also those produced when our customers use the energy products we sell”.
He expects Shell to appeal against the judgment. “I still feel disappointed that Shell is being singled out by a ruling that I believe does not help reduce global carbon-dioxide emissions; but, along with my colleagues, I feel something else: a determination to rise to the challenge. If we look beyond this court case, it’s clear we all have the same goal. . .
“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.”