Shell to Quit Petchems Lobby AFPM
Royal Dutch Shell has announced it is severing ties with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) industry association over that group’s lack of support for climate control policies, in particular the goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement’s to limit global warming by reducing carbon emissions to a net zero by the end of the century.
Shell said it will withdraw from the lobby in 2020. The Anglo-Dutch group is also said to be reviewing its membership in other industrial interest groups as it tries to increase transparency and show investors it is in line with the terms of the Paris accord.
The group’s CEO, Ben van Beurden, has been at the forefront of moves to clean up its operations and polish the industry’s image, often urging oil and gas producers to take action over climate and pollution.
Shell has been under pressure from investors, especially in Europe, to pay more than lip service to climate protection. In a first reaction, the group last year announced plans to link its executives’ pay to meeting ambitious carbon emissions targets.
In announcing its decision to quit the US lobby, Shell said AFPM has not stated support for the goal of the Paris Agreement, while Shell supports these goals. “The need for urgent action in response to climate change has become ever more obvious since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. As a result, society’s expectations in this area have changed, and Shell’s views have also evolved,” said van Beurden.
Shell also has disagreed with AFPM’s opposition to a price on carbon. The US organization is additionally seen as being at odds with other association member companies that have invested in cleaner fuel technology, as it fights against tougher standards for refineries.
In particular Europe-based multinational oil and petrochemicals groups have been at odds with US president Donald Trump’s administration over climate standards the US has been trying to weaken.
Shell recently urged the US to tighten restrictions on emissions of methane instead of weakening them as planned. London-based BP also has made similar remarks about methane over the past several months, though Greenpeace arm Unearthed said the oil major not long ago lobbied the Trump administration to soften the rules.