Shell shows how Big Oil cracks up over climate change

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The decades-old alliance of fossil fuel interests is starting to break.

Royal Dutch Shell, among the planet’s biggest oil companies, recently said it had fallen from a Washington D.C. industry lobbying group, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, or even AFPM. Why? Because Shell supports the Paris Agreement on climate change and the lobbying group does not.

“We must be prepared to openly voice our concerns where we find misalignment with an industry association on climate-related policy,” composed Shell’s CEO Ben Van Beurden. “In cases of material misalignment, we should also be prepared to walk away,”

This can be a crucial fissure in a bigger crackup. Shell also said that it might depart nine other industry associations &# 1 8212; including the American Petroleum Institute, and the Chamber of Commerce — over climate policy. It’s unlikely to reconcile with each one these groups, said Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy in Columbia University.

This is only the beginning. The differences among API associates on the primary issue of climate are immense. That’s going to achieve a breaking point. Https://t.co/3iWH06mesg

— Jason Bordoff (@JasonBordoff) April 2, 2019

There’s a current precedent for corporations falling out over climate action. The once-powerful American Legislative Exchange Council has dropped dozens of corporate associates (including Shell) over recent decades, as a consequence of its position climate change along with other issues. ALEC, which has worked closely with the climate-denying Heartland Institute, states that climate change is “inevitable” and its causes are still up for discussion.

None of this implies that Shell’s corporate executives will join valve-turners to close their own pipelines. The oil giant is still trying to generate a profit by selling fuels which contribute to climate change. Last year, it raked in $21.4 billion. It’s also still contributing to lobbying groups which fight attempts to curb carbon emissions.

But compared to it’s Big Oil brethren,, Shell stands out for calling the federal authorities to control greenhouse gases and funneling cash into clean energy efforts. In the finish, this political realignment matters. If fewer powerful corporations are standing in the method of taking action on climate change, necessary legislation is more likely to pass.

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