When I watched the Shell ads on TV, I always wondered about their investments in renewable energy and what steps they were taking to move towards cleaner fuels. (The ads were of the kind that were created to make you feel warm and fuzzy about Shell and its initiatives.)
George Monbiot interviewed the Shell CEO and has published an interesting account of the interview.
The interview I conducted with its chief executive, Jeroen van der Veer, broadcast on the Guardian’s website today, contains what appears to be an interesting admission. I asked him whether Shell had now stopped producing ads extolling its investments in renewable energy. Mr van der Veer does not express himself clearly at this point, but he seems to admit that his company’s previous advertising was not honest. “If we are very big in oil and gas and we are so far relatively small in alternative energies, if you then every day only make adverts about your alternative energies and not about 90% of your other activities I don’t think that — then I say transparency, honesty to the market, that’s nonsense.”
Monbiot’s looks at the money and the numbers and that help him make sense of what is actually going on. I know what to think about the Shell ads now.