Media release

Media comment: Shell’s industry association review fails Australia

Commenting on the publication of Shell’s Industry Associations Climate Review , Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:

“While Shell’s review of its industry associations is welcome, as is its decision not to renew its membership in the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the review of its three Australian industry associations is fundamentally flawed.”

“APPEA, the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network and the Business Council of Australia have steadfastly obstructed sensible climate policy in this country for 25 years. Along with the Minerals Council of Australia, these groups are the primary reason Australia is a global laggard on climate action.”

Four policy positions formed the basis of Shell’s review:

  1. The goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change
  2. Government-led carbon pricing mechanisms
  3. Policy frameworks for low-carbon technologies
  4. The role of natural gas in the energy system

“APPEA and the Business Council of Australia fail on at least two of these criteria. They have lobbied against carbon pricing mechanisms, including in Western Australia just two weeks ago; and, have opposed and sought to repeal policies designed to promote low-carbon technologies, including renewable energy targets.”

“Like BHP before it, it appears that Shell has elected to leave one industry association [1] in order to appease investors, while remaining in groups that, at their core, are committed to delaying climate action. Beyond Australia, this includes the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).”

“On the upside, Shell has now set clear criteria for acceptable advocacy by its industry associations. The task of monitoring that advocacy, and holding Shell accountable for spending shareholder funds on lobbying contrary to the company’s policy, now falls to investors and civil society.”

“The carbon lobby is the single largest obstacle to meeting the Paris Agreement. If we are to have any chance of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees, the carbon lobby must be severely constrained.”

For media comment, contact:

Dan Gocher

+61 410 550 337

[1] Following the publication of its industry association review in late 2017, BHP withdrew from the World Coal Association

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