Shell CEO calls for 2040 ban on new petrol car sales to be bought forward

Royal Dutch Shell CEO van Beurden speaks during the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris

caption
Royal Dutch Shell CEO van Beurden speaks during the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris
source
Thomson Reuters

  • The Chief Executive of Shell’s Anglo-Dutch group has called for the UK to bring forward its 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales.
  • Ben Van Beurden said a more ambitious target would bring clarity, change consumer attitudes and make it easier for Shell to make investment decisions going forward, the Guardian reported.
  • While Africa and Asia might need to make a slower transition, the UK could accelerate its plans, Van Beurden said.

LONDON – Shell, one of the world’s largest oil companies, has supported calls for the UK to bring forward its 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel cars and accelerate the move to greener energy, The Guardian reported.

CEO Ben Van Beurden said such a move would create clarity, change consumer attitudes and make it easier for Shell to make investment decisions going forward.

“If you would bring it forward, obviously that would be welcome. I think the UK will have to go at a much higher speed than the speed the rest of the world can go,” Van Beurden said.

The Chief Executive said that while Africa and Asia would out of necessity have a slower transition away from fossil fuel vehicles, the UK could accelerate its plans in a move that would be welcomed by Shell.

“The world will work at different speeds,” he said.

The anticipated transition to electric vehicles would not only reduce demand for petrol and diesel products of energy firms, but would diminish their petrol station business as well.

In response, Shell and others are buying electric car charging infrastructure, with BP last week buying the UK’s largest charging network for £130 million. But electric cars still make up just 2% of new UK car sales.

The UK needs to do a lot of work to reduce transport emissions, which have overtaken the energy sector in carbon emissions, Van Beurden said.