The Countdown Summit in Edinburgh featured this morning a difficult and at moments emotional on-stage discussion on fossil fuels and accelerating the trajectory of decarbonization.
We are publishing here the complete, unedited video account of that discussion, as a matter of record.
The conversation included Chris James, founder of Engine No. 1, the activist fund that successfully installed three new directors on the board of the US’s largest oil firm, ExxonMobil; Lauren MacDonald, Scottish climate activist and a member of the Stop Cambo campaign, fighting against a proposed offshore oil field west of the Shetlands; and Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the largest Europe-based oil and gas company. The discussion was moderated by Christiana Figueres, the Costa Rican diplomat who steered the global effort that culminated in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
After her first statement and a question to van Beurden, MacDonald walked out of the stage. The conversation continued among the other participants. Lindsay Levin, one of the co-hosts of Countdown Summit, returned to prompt van Beurden to answer that question. Earth systems scientist and TED speaker Johan Rockström also appears later in the video to challenge van Beurden on the science behind Shell’s net-zero plans.