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The Calgary Herald: Shell boss calls for emissions controls

2 February 2007

Governments should impose more rules to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming, said the head of RoyalDutch Shell PLC, Europe’s largest oil company.

“Governments, plural, should make international frameworks” to limit carbon dioxide, Shell PLC chief executive Jeroen van der Veer said in London on Thursday at an earnings press conference. “CO2 will play a major role in our industry and we have to develop more technology.”

Energy executives from other energy companies have called for more regulation. Duke Energy Corp. chief executive James Rogers, who runs the largest U.S. utility, advocates a U.S. national cap on carbon dioxide emissions.

Rising global temperatures was one of the biggest talking points last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, after U.S. President George W. Bush ordered big increases in biofuel production to “help confront climate change” and pledged in his State of the Union Address on Jan. 23 to raise auto gas mileage standards.

Van der Veer said Shell considers climate-change implications for new energy projects and has been for the past two years. Energy companies are researching ways of sequestering carbon dioxide from power plants — that is, burying it so that it doesn’t accumulate in the atmosphere.

The Shell chief refused to say how much of the company’s overall 2007 capital-spending budget of $22 billion to $23 billion would be earmarked for renewable energy, such as wind and solar.

“Many renewables are too expensive, so we have to do some research” into new technologies such as thin-film solar panels, he said. “You have to get the value proposition right.”

The U.K. government’s chief economic adviser, Nicholas Stern, who has estimated inaction on climate change may cost the world as much as $9.6 trillion by the next century because of floods and other environmental effects, has also said nations need some form of carbon regulation.

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