Former Shell executive David Lawrence is a respected geologist and energy executive whose work centers on global exploration, natural gas and energy investment. David Lawrence established his own energy consulting firm, Lawrence Energy Group, after leaving his post at Shell. He currently advises clients in the energy sector on the energy transition and its business impacts and on carbon pricing scenarios.
In 40 countries, companies with business models that result in carbon dioxide emissions are charged a carbon price. Carbon prices are calculated ( in part) by putting a value on the estimated range of damages caused by CO2 emissions, as the cost of emitting a tonne of CO2 is proportional to the estimated cost of the potential damage it may cause. This formula produces a broad range of outcomes as it may consider various risk scenarios of costs incurred due to environmental issues, health problems possibly related to carbon dioxide emissions , and the risk of property damage from natural disasters.
Countries can levy carbon costs in two ways. Some governments put a limit on the amount of CO2 that can be emitted in any given year. This system, sometimes referred to as "cap-and-trade", creates a marketplace for CO2 emission allowances. Low-emitting businesses can sell their surplus allowances to other companies, thereby incentivizing companies to reduce their carbon emissions. In some countries, a carbon tax is directly imposed on emitters of CO2. In the long-term, the purpose of both carbon pricing methods is to reduce overall carbon emissions.
David Lawrence is a respected presence in the energy field who has held leadership responsibilities in Texas and Europe with Shell Upstream Americas and Royal Dutch Shell. Currently the CEO and chairman of Lawrence Energy Group, David Lawrence also served as Chairman of the advisory board for the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, which studies energy transition issues and driving mechanisms and effects of global warming and climate change.
One region currently being impacted by climate change is the Peruvian tropical Andes. With potatoes and corn a dietary staple, a changing climate dictates that farming practices may need to be dramatically rethought.
Tropical biologists recently conducted a study which found that temperature increases of between 1.3 and 2.6 degrees Celsius would result in mass death of corn crops from pests and birds. One solution is to plant the crops at higher elevations, but this appears to reduce corn yield significantly.
The potato, on the other hand, with more than 4,000 native varieties in existence, is already being farmed on Peruvian mountaintops. While the potatoes would survive the projected temperature increase, tuber production would decrease and be deformed to such a point where its market value would be negligible.
The need to analyze and rethink agricultural practices comes at a time when food insecurity is a pressing issue in much of the developing world and disruption to the status quo can have potential serious repercussions.
A successful executive who served as the executive vice president of global exploration for Royal Dutch Shell and as the executive vice president of exploration and commercial for Shell Upstream Americas in Houston, David Lawrence is now retired from those positions and serves as chairman of Lawrence Energy Group. In his new venture, David Lawrence focuses on a number of different energy sectors, including natural gas.
Natural gas has emerged in the past decade as an alternative to fossil fuels such as coal terms of major domestic energy production. For this reason, major companies have ramped up distribution networks and are building pipelines throughout the country to take advantage of the growing market. The new pipeline projects not only bring natural gas to areas that may not have had easy access before, but they also aid in job growth.
One other way that natural gas is benefiting communities is through new tax revenue. In rural Ohio, for example, the Cloverleaf school district is reaping a financial windfall due to new taxes put in place on natural gas operation from the new NEXUS pipeline that is being built throughout the state. In the coming years, more school districts and other local government entities will likely find similar ways to piggyback off the expansion of the natural gas market.
Utilizing decades of experience as a geologist and business leader, David Lawrence formerly held the position of executive vice president with Shell Upstream Americas in Houston with responsibilities including exploration.