Jeroen Van der Veer, the head of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, said that raising Europe’s current target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 would be a mistake. Longer term goals “have to be achievable,” he said, “because over-stretched targets can have a demotivating effect.”
Van der Veer said the current plan for a 20 percent reduction in Europe from 1990 levels can be attained “if the technology and research develop.” Last month in Bali, a compromise plan to cut emissions was agreed upon by all nations once specific guidelines on emissions cuts were removed from the wording.
Just prior to Bali, 150 global companies, including Coca-Cola, Gap and GE, called for a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change.
Van der Veer said emissions cuts would be more difficult than people realize. A recent report published by McKinsey & Company said that the U.S. could reduce projected 2030 greenhouse gas emissions by as much as half without greatly altering consumer lifestyles.