Well, that got dark. Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden offered a fretful and grim assessment Thursday of a dangerous disconnect between his industry and the public. "I do think trust has been eroded to the point where it starts to become a serious issue for our long term future," he said at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.
Van Beurden touted the company's work on low-carbon energy and push for carbon taxes, but emphasized that the transition of the global energy system that's now dominated by fossil fuels is a decades-long endeavor, while the public's in a different place. "Societal acceptance of the energy system as we have it is just disappearing," he said, adding Shell needs an "almost activist" approach itself on engaging with the public and policymakers on energy transition.