Shell endorses climate task-force recommendations

New York City's former mayor leading a multinational effort that says more transparency will help investors assess the risks and rewards from a low-carbon economy.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  June 29, 2017 at 6:28 AM
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June 29 (UPI) -- The first in the industry, Royal Dutch Shell said it's aligned with a transparency measure on climate steered by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"I agree that companies should be clear about how they plan to be resilient in the face of climate change and energy transition," Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said in a statement.

Bloomberg steered efforts through the multilateral Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, which said the transition to a low-carbon economy could require as much as $1 trillion in net investments per year.

Describing the financial crisis of the last decade as one tied to "weak corporate governance," the task force said accurate and timely disclosure is fundamental to financial risk management when capital allocation is considered.

Bloomberg, who chairs the task force, said transparency could help investors evaluate the risks and the rewards of the transition to a greener economy.

"Climate change presents global markets with risks and opportunities that cannot be ignored, which is why a framework around climate-related disclosures is so important," he said in a statement.

Companies ranging from Bank of America to Dow Chemical Co. have backed up the initiative. Shell so far is the only oil and gas company to endorse the recommendations.

"I applaud the task force for its work to achieve this aim and I have signed a letter confirming Shell's support for the initiative," van Beurden said.

The task force recommendations on risk management are voluntary. Task force leaders said the recommendations are fit for purpose, by the market and for the market.

Shell earlier this month released details on payments made to more than two dozen governments in countries where it does business. The transparency is required by mandates enacted by the British government in 2014.

At the time, Joe Williams, a senior advocacy officer for the Natural Resource Governance Institute in London, told UPI that, from his point of view, Shell was only disclosing what it had to under the terms of British law.

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