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Oil giant Shell calls for switch to clean energy

Oil giant Shell calls for switch to clean energy

Fossil fuel industry admits it must address global warming

Because the fossil fuel industry is quickly losing public support amid reports of global warming, the industry must embrace clean energy in a more substantial way, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell said this week.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said his company plans to increase spending on renewable energy to $1 billion a year by 2020, according to reports. And he said  government policies should include a carbon tax, which will help to cut back on the most harmful pollutants.

A carbon tax creates a fee based on the production or use of fossil fuels related to the amount of carbon dioxide they produce. The more carbon dioxide used, the higher the tax.

"If we're not very careful, with all the good intentions and advocacy that we have, we may, as a sector and society, not make the progress that is needed," van Beurden said curing the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston on Thursday.

Shell, a $265 billion company, is one of the world's largest oil companies on a list that includes the largest, Saudi Aramco, which had $478 billion in revenue last year. In January, Bloomberg reported Saudi Aramco plans to boost its renewable energy investments to $5 billion, including the acquisition of renewable energy companies.

In November, 10 of the world's largest oil companies, including Saudi Aramco and Shell, joined forces to bolster efforts to fight global warming by creating a $1 billion investment fund to develop low-emission technologies.

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