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Royal Dutch Shell’s Ben van Beurden on journey from hero to zero



Royal Dutch Shell’s Ben van Beurden on journey from hero to zero

First the investors, now the staff. Royal Dutch Shell’s net-zero dreams aren’t so cool for everyone: falling shares, a shrunken dividend and up to 9,000 job cuts. Can Ben van Beurden green up the business without the heat also rising on him?

At the end of April the oil group’s chief executive turned up with the first dividend cut since the Second World War: a two-thirds chop to the £11.6 billion paid last year. A mix of Covid-19 and plunging energy prices finally did for the “you can be sure of Shell” mantra. But there was a possible upside, as JP Morgan Cazenove noted. The cut would enable Shell to “accelerate its energy transition agenda to net-zero carbon by 2050”. Maybe it will. And no…

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