WASHINGTON (February 12, 2021)—Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, has released a new proposed strategy for cutting emissions and reducing the company’s impact on the climate. While the strategy takes important steps in the right direction, it still falls short of what is needed to limit the worst effects of climate change, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Below is a statement by Kathy Mulvey, accountability campaign director in the Climate and Energy Program at UCS.
“Shell has taken a step forward with its new climate strategy. Instead of offering vague ambitions, Shell has set firm targets for short- and long-term emissions reductions from its operations and from the use of its products. Unfortunately, the pace of Shell’s proposed reductions does not match what science tells us is necessary to lead us out of the climate crisis, and questions remain about how the company will ensure that its climate policy advocacy backs up its stated commitments.
“Encouragingly, Shell is the first of the major oil and gas companies to set a firm net-zero target that includes all the carbon emissions from burning the oil and gas products it produces and sells globally, which are by far the fossil fuel industry’s biggest contribution to climate change.
“But Shell’s strategy leaves its biggest emissions cuts in the future instead of focusing on swift and deep reductions over the crucial next decade. But Shell’s strategy leaves its biggest emissions cuts in the future instead of focusing on swift and deep reductions over the crucial next decade. Shell also relies heavily on dubious offsets, stays silent on the significant upstream and process emissions of its present methane-based approach to hydrogen, and commits to ramping up, not down, investments in liquified natural gas.
“Finally, one of the biggest things Shell must do to advance climate action is to leave trade associations such as the American Petroleum Institute that spread climate disinformation and seek to block climate policies the company claims to support.
“Shell’s advances today and over the past few years are a clear, direct response to mounting pressure from shareholders, activists, policymakers, and climate litigation. They’re a sign that the climate movement is making an impact—and must continue to accelerate and grow.”