Royal Dutch Shell announced it will double its spending on green energy between now and 2020, investing $2 billion to develop wind, biofuels, and electric car infrastructure, among other technologies. The energy giant also outlined a new goal of halving the carbon footprint of the energy it sells by 2050, with an interim goal of a 20 percent reduction by 2035.
Shell’s new commitments are done “in step with society’s drive to align with the Paris goals,” the company’s CEO Ben van Beurden said in a statement. “We will do it by reducing the net carbon footprint of the full range of Shell emissions, from our operations and from the consumption of our products.”
Activist shareholders have for years been pushing Shell, one of the largest energy companies in the world, to take a stronger stance on climate change. Investors in the company — including the Church of England, several European pension funds, and activists — introduced a resolution earlier this year asking the company to establish greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, The Guardian reported at the time. But Shell’s board opposed the measure and shareholders ultimately voted it down.
In addition to funding its own research, Shell said part of its $2 billion investment in green energy will go toward acquiring companies already working on these technologies, such as it did when it recently bought the electric car charging firms Ionity and New Motion.
The new climate-focused policies are a “long-term way of making sure our business remains a relevant business in the face of the energy transition,” van Beurden told The Guardian. “Is the investment we are going to put in new energies enough? Let’s see, we have to start somewhere.”