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Royal Dutch Shell says UK energy demand set to fall in future

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Jessica Morris is City A.M.’s industrials reporter. Thursday 30 June 2016 12:06am

The boss of oil major Royal Dutch Shell is set to say that energy demand in the UK will fall, while urging the government to help meet the world’s climate change goals.

Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Shell, will tell an audience at a forum in London later today: “In the UK … demand for energy is likely to level off as a result of, for example, energy efficiency.

“But this does not mean the UK can sit back and relax. It has a legally binding commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, from the 1990 level.”

It comes as the government is due to outline its much anticipated fifth carbon budget today. Yesterday, energy secretary, Amber Rudd, reiterated Britain’s commitment to climate action despite uncertainty heralded by the Brexit vote.

The UK is one of nearly 200 nations that committed to cut carbon emissions and limit global warming below two degrees in Paris last year. Economist Nicholas Stern previously warned fossil fuel firms didn’t believe governments were serious in Paris, putting them at risk of financial ruin.

“When it makes business sense, Shell is determined to play its part in meeting the UK’s energy needs while lowering carbon emissions,” van Beurden will say.

“It’s important for governments to create the right conditions for companies to not only deliver energy but to do so with fewer emissions.”

Read more: Ex-Shell boss says time “ripe” for oil majors to eye alternative energy

Read more: Google makes “biggest-ever” purchase of renewable energy as it buys wind farms and solar projects

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