The oil company Royal Dutch Shell has announced plans for significant job losses as it shifts its focus to more low-carbon alternatives.
CEO Ben van Beurden announced in an interview on Wednesday that the company would remain dedicated to its promise to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions. As a consequence of that promise to be carbon neutral, van Beurden said the company would be shedding between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs before 2022.
“As a society, we need to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius, and ideally below 1.5 degrees Celsius. That means society needs a net-zero emissions energy system,” van Beurden said. “In that context, a company like Shell has a choice. It can choose to produce oil and gas with the lowest possible emissions. Or it can say: ‘If society wants to get to net-zero emissions and we really want to be an integral part of that society, then we need to get to net zero as well.’”
Van Beurden noted that the company would need to make a “dramatic change” to become a carbon-neutral company by 2050. He said the company would be shifting away from oil to produce “predominantly low-carbon electricity” and “low-carbon biofuels.” He noted that the decision will cause “painful” job losses.
“This is an extremely tough process. It is very painful to know that you will end up saying goodbye to quite a few good people. I know I, and many others in Shell, will be saying goodbye to people we know well and really like and who have great loyalty to the company. But we are doing this because we have to, because it is the right thing to do for the future of the company,” van Beurden said.
“We do not have an exact figure because the details are still being worked out, and we have never had a target to reduce a particular number of jobs. But we can say that, because of the efficiencies we expect to gain, we will reduce between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022. This includes around 1,500 people who have already agreed to take voluntary redundancy this year, but excludes any who may leave Shell because of divestments,” he later added.
Many conservatives have expressed concerns that a dramatic cut in carbon emissions would lead to job losses throughout the country. Joe Biden, who has proposed climate policies that will push the country to be carbon neutral by 2050, has said that his plan will create jobs in renewable energy to replace those lost by people in carbon-intensive fields.
Tags: News, Climate Change, Carbon, Gas, Shell
Original Author: Madison Dibble
Original Location: Shell to cut thousands of jobs as it shifts toward focus on renewable energy