Royal Dutch Shell released a report on the company's 19 associations with lobbying groups, which found that it was misaligned with almost half of them. The first-of-its-kind report found that its disagreement with one group, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) was so strong that it would let its membership lapse in 2020.
Shell wrote in the report that despite benefiting from its membership with AFPM through "shared insight" in process safety, it "identified material misalignment on climate-related policy positions with AFPM," and ultimately decided not to renew its membership.
There are four key areas of disagreement: AFPM has not stated support for the Paris Agreement, it does not support carbon pricing, opposes government action that increases energy cost, including a carbon tax, and does not take positions on the role of gas in reducing emissions, and on the reduction of methane emissions.
"It is important that our participation in industry associations is consistent with our views," Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden wrote in the report. "That means ensuring that the industry associations we belong to do not undermine our support for the Paris Agreement goal to limit the rise in global average temperatures this century to well below two degrees Celsius (2°C) above pre-industrial levels.
"The need for urgent action in response to climate change has become ever more obvious since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. As a result, society's expectations in this area have changed, and Shell's views have also evolved," he continued. "We must be prepared to openly voice our concerns where we find misalignment with an industry association on climate-related policy."
Shell has been one of the more vocal energy companies with regards to climate change and sustainability, and in December 2018 decided to tie short-term climate change goals to its executive pay policy.