Shell Oil chief: my fears for planet
The head of one of the world's biggest oil companies has admitted that the threat of climate change makes him "really very worried for the planet".
In an interview in today's Guardian Life section, Ron Oxburgh, chairman of Shell, says we urgently need to capture emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which scientists think contribute to global warming, and store them underground - a technique called carbon sequestration.
His comments will enrage many in the oil industry, which is targeted by climate change campaigners because the use of its products spews out huge quantities of carbon dioxide, most visibly from vehicle exhausts.
His words follow those of the government's chief science adviser, David King, who said in January that climate change posed a bigger threat to the world than terrorism.
Robin Oakley, a climate campaigner with Greenpeace, said: "This is an important statement to make but it does have to come with a commitment to follow through, and that means making the case to his peers in the oil industry who are still sceptical of climate change."
Bryony Worthington, a climate campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said: "It isn't a responsible attitude to say we're going to pledge to do sequestration but if the plans don't work out then the world's messed up. He's done quite a clever job by making it clear he's concerned but at the same time not pledging to do anything about it."