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Shell chairman says clean energy moving too slow to meet UN climate goals

The chairman of oil giant Shell said Thursday that he doubts clean energy can move fast enough to meet the United Nations climate warnings without a substantial policy push, despite the technology being readily at hand.

“Our analysis says we could solve this problem with the technology we have, but there is not enough pull to get it over in the kind of time frame that the scientists say we really need to avoid that,” said Chad Holliday, chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, speaking at an energy innovation forum in Washington.

Holliday was referring to the warnings underscored in the U.N.’s latest climate findings calling for replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy soon or risk the worst effects of global warming.

New analysis from Shell finds, Holliday said, finds that the technology shift need to achieve the U.N. goals can occur by 2070. But Holliday says the dilemma is having the technology but not moving rapidly enough to put it in place in the U.N.’s time frame.

“Unless there is big policy action, which drives the technology, we’re just not going to get there,” Holliday added.

He said the most simple solution to keep companies like his in the clean energy game is to keep federal funding predictable and constant over a 10-year period, while also creating programs that leverage federal funds with spending from the private sector.

He said that he was concerned that China was already doing this, and in many ways is doing a better job than the United States.

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