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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

14 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

16 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.