That should probably read: “Shell sells out consumers and seeks competitive advantage by pricing smaller competitors out of the market“. I’ve just decided Royal Dutch don’t get to provide my gasoline or goods through their associated convenience stores.
In an exclusive interview with EurActiv, a top executive with Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil and gas company, has set out a verdant stall for EU carbon market intervention, binding emissions reductions targets in 2030, and robust environmental criteria for biofuels.
But Graeme Sweeney, Shell’s special CO2 adviser, will also antagonise some environmentalists by opposing energy efficiency and renewable targets for 2030, accusing the EU of unfairly singling out tar sands, and advancing a low carbon strategy including gas, over one centred on renewable energy.
Sweeney had just held talks with the EU president José Manuel Barroso arranged by the Prince of Wales’ EU Corporate Leaders Group, in which he called for more than one billion carbon allowances to be set aside from the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) to raise carbon prices.
“That was the key quantification,” he said, speaking at Shell’s offices in Brussels’ EU Quarter. “The commission are clearly aware that that’s the size of the task and they are positively inclined to work to achieve it.”
At around €6 per tonne, today’s price of carbon is too low to incentivise green investment but the EU has pledged to review the rules of its cap and trade scheme by the end of June.
Analysts blame a massive over-supply of credits, uncertainty over the climate investment outlook after 2020, and an economic recession which has prevented a growth in emissions needing to be offset.
Shell, which has put a hypothetical internal price of $40 a tonne on its carbon, prefers the UK system of a carbon price floor to the EU’s ETS. But as Sweeney put it, “if we reform the ETS so that we put in a reserve price at auction, that’s a carbon floor price isn’t it?”