OIL giant Shell has become the first major oil and gas company to announce plans to leave a major US refining group because of a disagreement on climate policies.

In the company’s first review of its association with 19 key industry groups, Shell said it had found “material misalignment” over climate policy with the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and would quit the body next year.

The view is part of the Anglo-Dutch company’s bid to increase transparency and show investors that it supports the 2015 Paris climate agreement’s goals to limit global warming by reducing carbon emissions to a net zero by the end of the century.

It is also the latest sign of how investor pressure on oil firms is leading to changes in their behaviour over the climate issue.

In its decision, Shell said: “AFPM has not stated support for the goal of the Paris Agreement. Shell supports the goal of the Paris Agreement.”

It also disagreed with AFPM’s opposition to a price on carbon and action on low-carbon technologies.

AFPM CEO Chet Thompson said in a statement: “Like any family, we aren’t always fully aligned on every policy, but we always strive to reach consensus positions on policies.”

AFPM has around 300 members, including BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total. Shell said it also found some misalignment with nine other trade associations, including the American Petroleum Institute, but it would continue to engage with them over climate policies and monitor their alignment.

Last year, the company caved in to investor pressure over climate change, setting out plans to introduce industry-leading carbon emissions targets linked to executive pay.

Shell also published its 2018 Sustainability Report and its annual Payments to Governments Report, which it said, “together further demonstrate Shell’s efforts to increase transparency around activities that are important to investors, governments and civil society”.

Ben van Beurden, the company’s chief executive, said: “Shell must remain at the forefront of the drive for greater corporate transparency.

“We will continue to be more open about what we do and why we do it. We want to help people better understand Shell’s performance, values and principles.

“These reports outline our approach and activities in the crucial areas of sustainability and our relationships with industry associations and governments.”