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Big Oil Bids to Burnish Credentials in War on Climate Change

The world’s biggest oil companies, for long typecast as villains of climate change, are seeking to reinvent themselves as environmental pioneers. “We’re not going to be sitting back and say let’s see what society does and we’ll follow that,” said Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. “We’re more than prepared to be assertive and lean forward and say: ‘This is what it takes.”’ Irked by a shareholder resolution that would force Europe’s largest oil company to create specific emissions targets, the CEO took the unusual step of engaging with five reporters on Monday about Shell’s vision for a decarbonized world. Not only is Shell implementing its own, much stronger, measures to manage the energy transition, according to Van Beurden, but it can also drag the rest of the world along with it.

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