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HOUSTON — The CEO of Shell, one of the world’s biggest oil and natural gas companies, drives an electric car, just bought his wife another one and is installing a charging station at his home.

Why it matters: Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, is one of the most outspoken CEOs within the oil and gas industry when it comes to cutting carbon emissions and changing business strategies to do so. He’s putting some personal heft behind his rhetoric by driving an electric car and buying one for his wife.

To be sure: Shell is seeking to make money off the world’s shift to lower carbon energy resources. The charging station that will be at van Beurden’s home is made by NewMotion. Shell bought that company last year.

“It [NewMotion] has about 50,000 charging points at home and offices throughout Europe... And soon one will be added to it, which is my home address.”
— Van Beurden told Axios in an interview on the sidelines of a major energy conference

Flashback: Van Beurden first made waves about driving an electric car last summer, per this Bloomberg report. He currently drives a plug-in Mercedes company car. His more recent, personal purchase is a different brand, but he wouldn’t disclose the kind.

The big picture: In a speech at the CERAWeek conference here, van Beurden called climate change the greatest question facing the industry and laid out why and how he was changing his company’s strategy and products to respond to the challenge.

"There are plenty of questions facing our industry. The ongoing impact of shale. OPEC. The debate on LNG supplies. Geopolitical shifts. Plenty of questions. But I believe the biggest of them is climate change.”

What’s next: Stay tuned for more from our exclusive Axios interview with van Beurden.

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."