Shell Petroleum has disclosed that it invests more than $1 billion each year in technology research and development.
The company maintained that about $1 billion of its research and development investment has been in lower-carbon technologies.
The company which made this known in its sustainability report indicated that when it invests in energy projects, it
seeks to balance the short- and long-term interests.
â€œWe seek to balance a broad range of risks in our portfolio choices to consider the economic, social and environmental risks as well as political and technical. Our investment decisions are taken after we assess a range of risks that includes financial, environmental and our potential impact on the neighboring communities.â€â€œProject delays can occur if our potential impacts on the environment or communities are not fully considered as part of our planning. Our commitment to safety, the environment and to communities plays a crucial role in how we think, plan, design and operate projects. For example, we are working to reduce our environmental impact in areas such as water use,â€ it added.
Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden maintained that the international dialogue about how to address climate change gained pace during the year, particularly with the joint announcement by the USA and China to set emissions targets.
He indicated that an energy transition is taking place: a slow but steady shift from a predominantly carbon-based system towards one of net-zero carbon emissions.
The CEO maintained that at the same time, there are more than 1.2 billion people globally who still lack access to modern energy.
He pointed out that for these people; the availability of affordable energy is a basic need.
The CEO disclosed that energy can help people move out of poverty, support businesses and grow local economies.
He said that this poses a challenge for policymakers and others, including the oil and gas sector: how to provide people with affordable energy while reducing carbon emissions.
â€œThe world needs to meet the energy demands of a global population projected to reach nine billion by 2050. This will require continued growth in renewables and improvements in energy efficiency. As we work towards a lower-carbon future it will also be necessary to rely on a variety of energy sources. This includes fossil fuels with technologies that reduce emissions such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).â€
â€œThere is no simple answer or single approach to this energy transition. The world needs tailored policies appropriate for countries at varying stages of development. Advanced economies will need to review their energy mix to ensure they make the best use of all options, including renewables and lower-carbon energy solutions, whereas emerging economies may need to make use of their own resources, if available.â€
To meet these differing needs and move towards a lower-carbon future, we need policy frameworks that support more energy-efficient systems; lower-carbon options such as gas; CCS to reduce CO2 emissions; and renewables â€“ areas in which Shell is already working. Innovation will play a key role in making this happen. We are developing advanced biofuels and looking closely at future technologies such as hydrogen-based fuels. Governments can also support progress by introducing effective carbon trading systems and carbon pricing mechanisms to encourage investment in lower-carbon technologies.
â€œAt Shell, we have long been known for our strong focus on safety with the goal of no harm and no leaks in our operations. Respect for people, their safety, their communities and the environment remain top priorities. Sustainability at Shell includes our being a respected and valued member of society, which is essential to the longevity of our business. It informs our business decisions and is embedded in our company culture and has long been part of our Business Principles and our day-to-day operations,â€ he concluded.
At every stage of our operations we seek to reduce our impact on the environment and listen to the communities with which we work. This helps us to understand the indirect effects of our operations, both positive and negative, and to contribute where possible to the communitiesâ€™ needs. The Arctic is a case in point; we will only go ahead with exploration when we are fully prepared and ready to do this responsibly