Royal Dutch Shell is preparing to “turbocharge” its bid to become a global leader in clean energy in the coming years as it seeks to overcome the “existential” challenge posed by climate change, boss Ben van Beurden has told The Sunday Telegraph.
Mr van Beurden said that the FTSE 100 giant should be able to gauge by the early 2020s whether its recent moves into the clean electricity market will be stepped up. The energy giant has so far pledged to spend between $1bn and $2bn of its $25bn (£19bn) a year spending budget on technologies including electric car charging and renewable energy.
“It is a highly charismatic part of our business, but it’s also very small,” Mr Van Beurden said. “I wouldn’t say that we have a deadline, because much of it will depend on how society wants to change, but I would imagine that the way things are going by the early 2020s we will know whether the hypothesis holds, and whether we therefore want to turbocharge this business.
“The biggest calling card we have is scale. We can scale much faster than anyone else,” he added.
Mr Van Beurden said Shell’s recent pledge to cut its carbon emissions by a fifth is “about the longevity of the company, and is therefore an existential issue. This is not about being altruistic.”