Oil giant Shell will cut ties with a major industry body, citing the group’s refusal to support the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The London-listed firm today said it would allow its membership of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) to expire in 2020 when it is up for renewal.
The oil major said it disagreed with AFPM on its lack of support for carbon emission charges, the role of gas as a transition fuel to low-carbon energy and its support for the Trump administration’s planned rollback of fuel economy standards.
“We must be prepared to openly voice our concerns where we find misalignment with an industry association on climate-related policy,” said Shell boss Ben van Beurden. “In cases of material misalignment, we should also be prepared to walk away.”
AFPM chief executive Chet Thompson said his group “works on myriad issues for our membership.” He added: “Like any family, we aren’t always fully aligned on every policy.”
Shell also found “some misalignment” with nine other industry associations where it is a member, including the American Petroleum Institute.
It comes as the firm said spills from its operations doubled last year.
The amount of oil and oil products which leaked into the environment went from 400 tonnes to 800 tonnes around the world, the company said, driven by faults at a Nigerian pipeline and an underground leak in Iraq.
Meanwhile, oil lost from sabotage, including illegal refiners siphoning off barrels from its pipelines, rose from 1,400 tonnes to 1,600 tonnes, the company said.
Shell said rising oil prices incentivised thieves, with 111 acts of sabotage in 2018, a 79 per cent increase.