Company already committed to spend $1bn-$2bn annually in the next two years on low carbon energy

Shell has declared an ambition to double the amount it spends on green energy to $4bn (£3.2bn) a year, in a sign of how the Anglo-Dutch company is looking to speed up its move to a future beyond oil and gas.

Maarten Wetselaar, the head of the gas and new energy unit which generates a third of the company’s revenues, said he wanted to raise Shell’s investment in low carbon energy.

Oil refinery plant at night
The company has already committed to spend $1bn-$2bn annually in the next two years, with the rest of its total $25bn budget invested in hydrocarbons.

Wetselaar said if his initial investments generated a good enough return, he would be able to successfully argue for an increase from 2020 onwards.

“I would like my current business to be financially credible enough for not only the company, but shareholders, to want to double it and look at more,” he said in an interview with the Guardian.

Stronger government action on global warming and the transition to a low carbon energy system has started a renewed push by oil majors into green energy.

Read more: The Guardian