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Shell is investing $300 million in planting trees

Printed below is an English translation of an article published today by the Dutch Financial Times, Financieele Dagblad.


Shell is investing $300 million in planting trees

Bert van Dijk: 9 April 2019

Shell will invest $ 300 million in planting trees in the coming three years. As part of the global investment program, Shell is investing more than € 17 million in the outside fund of Staatsbosbeheer. Both organizations want to plant more than five million trees in the coming twelve years. It is about the largest planting in the past hundred years. Shell announced this on Monday.

The global program must help Shell to achieve its goals of reducing CO₂.

Cooperation with business

“We invest in the Netherlands in, among other things, offshore wind energy, solar energy, electric mobility, biofuels and energy efficiency, but CO₂ compensation is also an important part of achieving climate goals,” said Marjan van Loon, president Director of Shell Nederland in a statement.

Sylvo Thijsen, director of Staatsbosbeheer, is happy with cooperation with Shell. ‘In the past it was mainly the government that dealt with this. That’s why it’s so good that the business community is also taking part. ”

“With this cooperation, Staatsbosbeheer is able to provide the empty spaces in the forest, which are caused by the mortality of the ash, with new trees,” says Thijsen. The ash is affected in the Netherlands by an aggressive fungal disease whose trees do not recover.


In the Netherlands, Shell will also offer customers at the pump the opportunity to compensate their own emissions for fuel consumption. Customers who opt for regular fuels, according to Shell, drive for an extra cent per liter CO₂ neutral.

A modern petrol car emits around 120 grams of CO₂ per kilometer driven. With a tank capacity of 60 liters and a consumption of 1:10, a motorist who wants to compensate for his CO₂ will soon pay 60 cents. For the 72 kilos of CO₂ that he emits with that full tank, he will then pay around € 8 per tonne of CO₂, while the market price in Europe is currently around € 22. Shell indicates that it is possible to compensate for the refueling fuel through projects elsewhere in the world, such as Peru and Indonesia, where the CO₂ price is lower than in the Netherlands.

Compensation via Dutch forests is not yet possible, because the Netherlands does not yet have a certified system of CO₂ credits. Staatsbosbeheer and Shell are going to lobby for certification, so that investing in Dutch nature becomes interesting for more companies.

Spain and Australia

Shell is also rolling out this program in other countries. In the Netherlands, Shell will also install 200 extra fast chargers for electric cars at its stations.

In Spain, Shell has signed an agreement with Land Life for a 300-hectare forest project, where around 300,000 trees are to be planted this year. Shell has also launched a large planting program in Australia.

Green investments

Shell’s investment is the latest in a range of climate-friendly investments.

Earlier this year, Shell took over the German company Sonnen, which has developed a home battery. It also acquired Makani, an American start-up from Google’s parent company Alphabet, which has developed a kite that can produce electricity.

Shell also announced earlier this year that it wanted to take over energy supply supplier Eneco together with PGGM. Shell is investing more and more in other, cleaner forms of energy. For the time being, these are marginal amounts each year compared to the tens of billions that Shell is still investing in oil and gas activities. But the company has expressed the ambition to eventually double the investment in new energy forms to $ 4 billion per year.


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