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Shell Quits U.S. Refining Lobby Group Over Climate Policy Discord

Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday that it would be leaving the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) group because of ‘material misalignment’ in climate-related positions—the first major oil and gas group to quit the refining lobby over climate policy disagreements.

In its Industry Associations Climate Review published on Tuesday, Shell said that it had reviewed its memberships of industry associations in light of Shell’s climate-related policy positions. Of the 19 associations it reviewed, Shell found that “there was material misalignment with one industry association, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).”

“We have decided not to renew our membership of AFPM in 2020,” the oil major said.

Shell’s reasons for quitting AFPM include the association not having stated support for the Paris Agreement, which Shell supports, as well as AFPM’s position that doesn’t support carbon pricing.

“Shell has supported carbon pricing initiatives at the state and federal level, such as the California cap-and-trade programme,” the supermajor said.

Shell investor, The Church of England Pensions Board, welcomed the oil and gas group’s decision to leave AFPM.

“This is an industry first. With this review Shell have set the benchmark for best practice on corporate climate lobbying not just within the Oil and Gas but across all industries. The challenge now is for others to follow suit,” said Adam Matthews, Director of Ethics and Engagement for the Church of England Pensions Board.

Shell was one of the first supermajors to start setting climate goals amid increased investor pressure for transparency.

Last month, Shell announced its first-ever short-term goals to cut the carbon footprint of its operations and product sales as the oil and gas industry is under intense investor and shareholder pressure to address climate change.

In December last year, in an industry first, Shell said that it plans to set short-term targets for reducing the net carbon footprint of the energy products it sells, and to link those targets with executive remuneration.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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