BusinessDay

We were told we were not welcome at UN climate talks – Shell CEO

Royal Dutch Shell will be absent at this year’s United Nations climate change Conference of the Parties (COP26) talks in Glasgow, after being told it would not be welcome, the company’s chief executive Ben Van Beurden admitted.

The Anglo-Dutch energy group, which is one of the world’s biggest polluters but has committed to cut its emissions to net-zero by 2050, said it would not be represented at the UN climate conference in Glasgow.

“We are not represented,” Ben van Beurden said in comments that provoked debate about whether such companies should have a seat at the table in climate talks.

“We were told that we were not welcome, so we will not be there,” Ben van Beurden, the company’s chief executive, said yesterday in comments that provoked debate about whether such companies should have a seat at the table in climate talks.

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Van Beurden said he is aiming to publish an article on LinkedIn, possibly on Friday, to outline his hopes for the summit.

“I do hope that, indeed, people who are representing the nations of the world are going to make the right choices. I will put my hopes on paper and you can see what I think about it,” Van Beurden told journalists during a call to discuss the company’s third-quarter results on Thursday.

Representatives from nearly 200 countries will meet in the Scottish city from 31 October to 12 November for talks to strengthen action to tackle global warming under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

A report last week in the Guardian UK newspaper revealed that oil and gas companies have been given “no official role” at the summit.

The report cited private emails from British civil servants expressing doubt over some oil companies’ energy transition plans.

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