Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive officer of Shell, has hit out at the US' isolationism when it comes to environmentalism and challenged it to re-embrace the Kyoto agreement.

Speaking at the Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai, Mr van de Veer retorted to a suggestion from an American attendee that his industry was the prime cause of global warming by criticizing US policy on the matter.

The Shell boss criticized the US decision to withdraw from the Kyoto accord in 2001 and challenged his questioner to explain why the US stays outside of the international agreement on reducing global warming.

Why don’t you join the Kyoto agreement? Mr van der Veer said to the American attendee, adding that US inclusion in global environmental initiatives was needed to incentivize oil companies to reduce their harmful emissions.

Mr van der Veer also suggested that energy companies should not be made into the environmental issue scapegoats, arguing that they were ready to work with governments to solve the carbon issue but that this could only be achieved in a global framework that ensures a level playing field for all.