Fossil Companies ‘Can’t Change Their Ways,’ Says Ex-Shell Manager
Global oil and gas companies like Shell are unlikely to change their ways in response to climate change, even though “the present energy system cannot continue as it is,” ex-Shell manager Adriaan Kamp, manager and founder of Oslo-based Energy For One World, told Energy Post last week.
“Like the banks, they can’t change their ways. They are still making too much money with oil and gas,” Kamp said. And so, with growth strategies that depend on expanding fossil fuel production, “they leave it to others to come up with the real solutions.”
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Kamp cited a recent speech in which another former Shell executive, John Nic Vold, commented that “we need the Elon Musks of this world, the Apples and the Googles, to come up with radical solutions. We, oil and gas companies, can’t do it.”
Over the years, Shell has put effort in to a wide range of energy technologies, including biofuels, solar, offshore wind, and nuclear. There were two reasons the efforts failed, Kamp said.
“One: Shell is foremost a business, they operate on the shareholder model, so they go for the highest shareholder returns. These are in oil and gas, not in those other options. Two: Shell’s managers, although they are very capable, have a different DNA than that which exists in these other business cultures. This is something you have to learn. It was a failure of leadership that they did not manage to do so.”