Shell: Switching to renewables in the 90s would have bankrupted us

(Eco Business, 24 Nov 2018) Energy giant was aware of the impacts of global warming decades ago. But shifting to renewables early on would have ruined the company, a top executive said this week. Suing fossil fuels firms for climate change is “a waste of society’s money and time,” he said.

Although Shell was aware of the catastrophic consequences of climate change from burning fossil fuels back in the 1980s, moving into renewable energy then would have crippled the company, a senior Shell executive said at an event in Singapore on Friday.

Speaking at a Shell-sponsored debate on the future of energy at Singapore University of Technology and Design, Maarten Wetselaar, the firm’s director of integrated gas and new energies, also said that legal action taken against fossil fuels firms by countries suffering from the effects of climate change was a “waste of society’s money and time.”

At the event recorded live on Twitter, Wetselaar was asked how one of the world’s energy company could expect to be taken seriously in a discussion about decarbonisation when it had ignored its own research that warned of climate change impacts as early as the 1980s, and in the years since has pumped billions into fossil fuels extraction and been linked to spending on lobbying against climate action.

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Eco Business, 24 Nov 2018: Shell: Switching to renewables in the 90s would have bankrupted us