Shell oil helped write the Paris climate agreement, according to a top Royal Dutch Shell executive.
They’re also the world’s ninth-largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions.
The executive, Shell’s Chief Climate Change Adviser David Hone, made his comments at the international climate change conference COP 24 on Friday. Hone was candid about just how much of a hand his company — through their involvement with the International Emissions Trading Association — had in writing the Paris agreement.
The agreement is the centerpiece of the conference in Poland, where delegates are trying to draft a rulebook for how to implement it. IETA is a business lobby comprised of corporations including fossil fuel producers that pushes for “market-based climate solutions,” including at United Nations climate talks.
To hear him tell it, their involvement has been wildly successful. “We have had a process running for four years for the need of carbon unit trading to be part of the Paris agreement. We can take some credit for the fact that Article 6 [of the Paris agreement] is even there at all,” Hone said at an IETA side event within the Katowice, Poland, conference center. “We put together a straw proposal. Many of the elements of that straw proposal appear in the Paris agreement. We put together another straw proposal for the rulebook, and we saw some of that appear in the text.”
Jesse Bragg, communications director for Corporate Accountability, told me, “In some ways, I’m pretty thankful that Shell was so honest about what many campaigners have been saying for a long time: that the very corporations that created this crisis are at the table and writing the supposed solutions for getting us out of it.”
Under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, only state actors can officially negotiate over the text of climate agreements, including the Paris agreement. Unions, civil society groups, and corporations can be observers to that process.
Hone added that he’s been “chatting with some of the delegations” and that the “the [European Union’s] position is not that different from how Shell sees this.”
Article 6, the provision that Shell is taking credit for, outlines carbon markets as one of the chief ways that oil companies and other major polluters can rein in their emissions,