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Shell’s Bold Move: Embracing Climate-Wrecking Fossil Fuels, Doubling Down on Profit

Posted by John Donovan 15 June 2023

Shell’s new leader takes a stand against the growing green movement, making it clear that the company’s commitment to the environment takes a backseat to their insatiable thirst for profits. Wael Sawan, who assumed the role of CEO earlier this year, has sent shockwaves through the eco-conscious community by announcing Shell’s abandonment of any plans to reduce oil production until 2030.

In a brazen move, Sawan not only halted the decline of oil production but also unveiled a plan to increase natural gas volumes, further exacerbating the climate crisis. This audacious decision has understandably triggered outrage among climate activists, who accuse Shell of shamelessly prioritizing their own financial gains over the well-being of the planet.

During an investor day in New York, Shell boasted of plans to boost shareholder distributions to an astonishing 30-40% of cash flow from operations, showing no regard for the urgent need to invest in green initiatives. Furthermore, they announced a staggering £3.9 billion share buyback scheme, while slashing spending to give the illusion of a more responsible company. It’s a classic case of greenwashing in action.

Shell shamelessly justifies their actions by claiming that maintaining current oil production levels will secure their position in the market. This self-serving rhetoric conveniently ignores the fact that the world is in dire need of a transition away from fossil fuels to combat the climate emergency. While Shell pays lip service to a net-zero future by 2050, their continued obsession with oil and gas profits reveals their true intentions.

Jonathan Noronha-Gant, a senior campaigner at Global Witness, rightly points out that Shell’s astronomical profits could be used to fuel meaningful green investments. However, the company’s executives seem to think they can silence critics by rewarding shareholders and relentlessly pursuing climate-wrecking fossil fuels. The unyielding pursuit of profit clearly takes precedence over the well-being of people and the planet for these corporate polluters.

This about-face from Shell comes as no surprise given their struggles to keep up with their American counterparts. In an attempt to boost their value, Shell’s new CEO aims to attract more US investors, following the path of other oil giants like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. It seems that Shell’s newfound commitment to its core business is merely a facade to regain lost ground in the face of mounting pressure from climate activists.

Shell’s decision to prioritize shareholder returns and production is a blatant disregard for the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels. Their actions reinforce the notion that oil and gas remain too profitable for Shell to ignore, overshadowing any half-hearted claims of pursuing a low-carbon future.

With this move, Shell has made it abundantly clear where their loyalties lie, and it’s not with the environment or the well-being of future generations. It’s high time that we hold this ruthless, polluting oil giant accountable for their reckless actions and demand real change that prioritizes the planet over profit.

Right of Reply: Shell is invited to point out for correction any factual inaccuracies and supply closing comments for publication as part of this article on an unedited basis. 

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