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Shell’s climate change debacle on social media


By John Donovan

As is plain from recently published news articles, Shell’s use of social media to initiate a discussion about climate change has spectacularly backfired.

The fall out is not limited to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

This morning, I spotted the following postings on by Shell’s Climate Change VP John MacArthur

John MacArthur• 3rd+Climate & Sustainability Leader ★ Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering ★ Chairman OGCI Climate Investments ★ Executive Coach1 day ago
Even though the world is going through uncertain times, we know there is an urgent need to tackle climate change. That’s why, at Shell, our ambition is to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, or sooner. We aim to meet our customers’ demand for cleaner energy, keeping in pace with society. #MakeTheFuture#climatechange#netzero2050


So Shell will get out of the primary energy business? Please explain how the world will solve the energy needs over the next 30 years. Eliminating about 12000 mtoe to zero in about 12000 days means 1 nuclear installation per day or 1500 windmills. We need to stop burning fossil and save it for useful stuff. But to reorganise the world in 10 or 30 years just is not possible. With a concerted effort by the world leaders (when was the last time this was achieved?) it will take 2-3 generations and great care is to be taken not to send the poorest 30% of the population into even more dire circumstances. Fortunately we have the time as there is sufficient fossil fuel around. In the meantime I vote your statement as a greenwashing marketing one. But I wish you a fine day and look forward to your explanation!
You are right, Hans. We have a short blip in oil and gas demand at the moment but that demand will soon recover. Oil companies are hardly adding reserves at the moment, which, as we know, will result in shortage of supply in years to come. Adding alternatives may well be a good thing but it will in no way compensate for the increasing thirst for energy in decades to come. We could, and maybe need to, increase nuclear but there are lots of concerns with that. The stochastic supply of solar and wind energy will require massive energy storage facilities. We, rightly, are concerned about a few million deaths from Covid19, but we easily forget that the global population grows by 83(!) million every year. These additional creatures want a warm or cold home, food, a means of transport, a job, an opportunity to go on holiday, electric equipment, electronic gadgets and 100GB of data stored somewhere. That all requires huge amounts of energy. I think it is a good time to buy oil stock
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