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Daily Mail: Shell boss claims he supports climate-change protesters as profits at the oil giant fall by a quarter

Shell’s boss said he supports the ‘mobilisation’ of climate-change protesters but criticised property damage and ‘people being put in jeopardy’.

Following a wave of mass demonstrations organised by the Extinction Rebellion group, Ben van Beurden said that ‘as a society, we are not doing enough’ to meet targets to reduce harmful carbon emissions.

But the oil group’s chief executive also said he was ‘concerned’ by the methods of some protesters, who caused mass disruption to transport networks and prompted warnings from authorities about public safety.

Van Beurden said: ‘We need an intensified and effective debate to make things happen.

‘The decarbonisation of society will not happen because of noise, but by people doing the right things. Companies need to work with customers to figure out how to decarbonise different sectors.’

But the 61-year-old added: ‘We cannot have property damage and the safety of people being put in jeopardy – I can’t agree with that.’

His comments came as profits at Shell plunged by one quarter, to £3billion, in the second quarter amid weaker gas prices and rising costs.

The figure was far below analyst forecasts of £4.1billion and marked the company’s worst results since a crash in oil prices three years ago.

Shell produced 3.6m barrels of oil per day, up from 3.4m during the same period last year.

But it said ‘challenging’ market conditions such as growing refining costs and the falling price of oil had squeezed its profit margins.

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