Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says this is no time for big oil to be a shrinking violet.
In a speech he will give today, van Beurden says his industry should be more engaged in debates about climate and energy policy, especially as make-or-break talks on a global climate pact loom later this year.
"Our industry should be less aloof, more assertive. We have to make sure that our voice is heard by members of government, by civil society, and the general public," he will say, according to remarks he plans to deliver at the International Petroleum Week dinner in London.
The speech arrives as negotiators—including State Department officials—are working on a new global climate accord that diplomats hope to finalize at United Nations talks in Paris late this year.
"Making our voice heard—this should be our goal in the run-up to Paris. The world will benefit," thespeech states, arguing the industry has wrongly kept a low profile in climate debates.
Van Beurden's speech also notes that the climate debate will "rise to new heights of intensity" ahead of the U.N. talks and says a "balanced" debate is needed—one that doesn't simply pit renewables against fossil fuels.
"The world's energy needs will underpin the use of fossil fuels for decades to come. So, rather than ruling them out, the focus should remain on lowering their carbon emissions," he will say.