John Abbott

The transport sector accounts for more than one quarter of the world's total energy use and could play a fundamental role in global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Shell's Downstream Director John Abbott said at the opening of Make the Future Singapore.

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

A few days ago, I arrived at Changi Airport.

When I came to Singapore for the first time, back in 1986, the airport only had one terminal. Now it has three, with a fourth terminal opening soon. And a fifth one, known as Project Jewel, is already in the works.

This is testament to Singapore’s impressive growth.

There is a reason why I mention Changi Airport. I am proud to say that two of its runways are paved with Shell bitumen, and a third one will be paved with it as well. Many of Singapore’s roads are also paved with Shell bitumen.

Roads and runways are vital to prosperity. At the same time, air pollution in many Asian cities exceeds the air quality guidelines set by the World Health Organization. And transport over roads and runways plays a big part in that.

Shell is working on bitumen that can absorb smoke, soot, dust and other particulates emitted by cars and trucks.

Bitumen alone obviously cannot address pollution, but it is one step that shows the importance of innovation. And innovation is not only important for roads and runways, but also for cars and fuels.

Transport accounts for more than one quarter of the world’s total energy use and one fifth of global energy-related CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. This suggests that the transport sector has a fundamental role to play in helping global efforts to reduce emissions.

This is why the Shell Eco-marathon encourages bright young minds to create energy-efficient vehicles. It is also why we plan to help develop a technology called IH2 in India. IH2, which converts waste into fuel, will be developed at the new Shell Technology Centre in Bangalore.

But ideas mean little if they cannot be implemented.

We need innovators collaborating with businesses and governments to turn ideas into reality. In a fast-changing world, innovation and collaboration are more important than ever.

Shell is walking the talk. For example, we have just joined forces with Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and to work together on hydrogen-related products over the next five years.

This Hydrogen Council will also work with policy makers to inform the public about the benefits of hydrogen as a clean fuel.

Another example is our work with former Formula One designer Gordon Murray and engine experts of Geo Technology. Together, we have created a concept car body, an engine and a lubricant.

The result is a highly efficient city car that would use a third less energy in its lifetime than a typical city car. This concept car… which you can see at this festival… also has lower CO2 emissions than both a typical petrol-powered city car and a hybrid car.

Innovation and a commercial mindset, ladies and gentlemen, are crucial to the future of Asia. Make the Future Singapore is focused on young entrepreneurs and people with bright ideas.

Shell wants to help bring their concepts into reality, to ensure they can make it to the next stage. So, today is the day to build fruitful partnerships and turn ideas into reality.

But rest assured that you don’t always have to aim for the stars. Sometimes, the best ideas can be found beneath our feet. Like bitumen, for example.

Thank you.

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