Speaking on HBO in an interview with AXIOS, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden predicted that at some point in the 2030s, clean energy will represent about half of the company’s energy mix.
The CEO said that the company, as well as wider society, will have a problem if it fails to make that sort of progress. Speaking about the energy transition’s challenges, he said:
“If you want to get rid of hydrocarbons in the mix, you have to do something about the use of it, not the production of it.”
Van Beurden added that while people ideally want instant results, they shouldn’t expect the company to stop its selling of diesel fuel tomorrow.
The Anglo-Dutch company, like many European oil majors, has committed to the goal of becoming a mixed-energy company with net-zero emissions by 2050. This inevitably means shifting away from oil and gas production – although they may still be needed for non-fuel products like metalworking and industrial lubricant products – and diversifying more into renewable energy generation and emerging technologies like clean hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage.
Speaking about the United States, van Beurden welcomed the decision to recommit to the goal of limiting global warming to with two degrees, as embodied in the Paris Climate Agreement, but he cast doubt on the decision to put a ban drilling for oil on federal land, commenting that it would likely increase the demand for imported oil.
The CEO pointed out that Shell’s supply of oil would ultimately be driven by demand.