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Coal, oil and natural gas would plummet within the next couple of decades in a new report Royal Dutch Shell released Monday, envisioning a future where world leaders cut greenhouse gas emissions as laid out in the 2015 Paris climate deal.

Why it matters: This is a company sketching a potential future where its primary products precipitously drop in use. That’s like McDonald’s imagining a future without beef hamburgers. Meanwhile, Shell is one of the most aggressive global hydrocarbon producers addressing climate change by investing in other energy technologies.

Expand chart
Adapted from a Shell report; Chart: Axios Visuals

The gritty details: The report is not a forecast for what Shell thinks will happen. It’s a possible future if greenhouse gas emissions are cut dramatically through aggressive and coordinated government policies to produce a net zero emissions from energy use by 2070. That’s a herculean “if” statement given the lack of movement on this issue. This latest scenario is the most ambitious compared to two others Shell issued in 2013.

Highlights of this hypothetical future:

  • Governments adopt carbon taxes just under $50 per ton by 2030 that reach $200 by 2070.
  • Global coal demand has already peaked, oil demand peaks around 2025 and natural gas peaks around 2035.
  • Solar becomes the dominant energy source around 2055.
  • The shift to renewable energy is “affordable, being well within historical spending on the new energy system as a share of global GDP.”

Flashback:

  • Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden told me earlier this month that oil demand could peak within seven years if the world took drastic action to cut carbon emissions.
  • Shell announced late last year it would aim to cut the "net carbon footprint of its energy products by around half by 2050.”

Yes, but: Shell is still not moving aggressively enough for some shareholders. Activist investors are likely to push a resolution at its upcoming spring investors’ meeting calling on the company to be more aggressive with its strategy, The Financial Times reported Monday.

Related: Inside Exxon’s climate strategy

Go deeper

47 mins ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia structures in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden's big Saudi reset

Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty

President Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman this evening ahead of the release of a CIA report expected to implicate the king's son, and the kingdom's de facto ruler, in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Why it matters: In one month, Biden has ended support for the Saudi war effort in Yemen, frozen a large arms deal and snubbed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) by declining to speak with him directly.