Royal Dutch Shell : Aims to Reach Net-Zero Emissions Within 30 Years

Ben van Beurden

Ben van Beurden

The company also plans to become net-zero on the trickier scope three emissions.

Britain's biggest oil company committed itself to have net-zero emissions from manufacturing of all products by 2050 at the latest - in line with the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. However, the company has said that this ambition could be reached sooner. As part of the plan to 2050, the company also aims to slash the carbon intensity of its products by 50%. By 2035 it wants to reduce it by 30%.

BP's peer Royal Dutch Shell has the oil and gas sector's broadest plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, although it depends on pivoting "towards serving businesses and sectors that by 2050 are also net-zero emissions". "Society, and our customers, expect nothing less", the company's CEO, Ben van Beurden, said as quoted in the press release. The company will work with its customers to address the emissions which are produced when they use the fuels they buy from Shell.

If we take BP as an example, emissions from its own barrels, from wellhead to passenger auto exhaust, amount to around 415 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year. Greenpeace has also been campaigning for arts and cultural institutions to cut ties with oil and gas firms.

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Shell has slowly been ramping up sustainability efforts, following engagement with NGOs and stakeholders.

In today's Briefing, Shell stated that "customers can themselves take action on their emissions", taking actions to mitigate emissions using both nature and carbon capture. That has already resulted in widespread furloughs, layoffs, and even early bankruptcies across the sector, putting the future of cities and regions relying on oil revenues in question-and appearing to put climate change, which until earlier this year was dominating debates about the future of the industry, on hold.

Shell has rejected setting long-term targets, opting instead for ambitions which its says allow it flexibility to move "in step" with society's shift away from fossil fuels in order to battle global warming. "It raises the bar and sets out an approach for others in the oil and gas sector to follow".

The boss of one of the world's biggest oil producers has said it is vital to look to the long term amid the coronavirus pandemic, as Shell announced plans to become carbon-neutral by the middle of the century. It is testimony to the confidence of Shell in the navigation not only in the immediate situation, but rightly puts the emphasis on the development of pathways to net zero in key sectors that are shaping the energy demand.

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