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Shell’s Greenwashing Smokescreen

Posted by John Donovan August 7, 2023

In a groundbreaking display of environmental commitment, Barclays is championing sustainability while funding the beloved oil giant, Shell. The masterful manipulation of “sustainable finance” initiatives has allowed Barclays to classify a $10 billion revolving credit facility for Shell as “social and environmental financing” – truly an awe-inspiring feat in the world of greenwashing.

But wait, it gets better! Barclays ingeniously counts its share of the loan towards achieving its $150 billion social and environmental financing target. Who knew that aiding a polluting behemoth could be such a philanthropic endeavour?

Shell’s carbon intensity targets are the talk of the town. The company ambitiously aims to reduce the carbon intensity of its energy products by a whopping 9 to 13 percent by 2025 compared to 2016 levels. A true eco-warrior, they pushed back against emissions reduction pressures, all while oil and gas prices soared like a rocket on the back of the Ukraine invasion.

But don’t worry; Shell is proud to announce that they have hit all the carbon intensity targets of the credit facility. Bravo, Shell, bravo! And critics, please take a seat. They claim that focusing solely on carbon intensity metrics is not a greenwashing technique, it’s just a clever strategy to significantly increase total carbon emissions while still satisfying loan requirements. A stroke of brilliance, really.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) expressed concerns over the misuse of sustainability-linked loans (SLLs) and a lack of transparency. Ah, the FCA, always looking out for us. They suspect “greenwashing” might be afoot – how perceptive of them. Clearly, they’ve seen through the carefully crafted veneer of eco-friendly initiatives.

But the cherry on top is Exxon Mobil’s candid admission that society would never accept the degradation of the global standard of living required for net-zero emissions. How refreshing to witness such honesty! And Shell, ever the optimist, clings to the belief that achieving net-zero is entirely out of their hands. Who needs accountability when you can just blame society?

While temperatures worldwide reach unbearable levels this summer, the world’s major energy companies continue their well-calculated dance of rhetoric and action. Let’s applaud their efforts to pursue green energy technologies, even if it’s a mere smokescreen to maintain and enhance oil and gas production. Bravo, once again!

As the International Energy Agency points out, the industry’s investment in clean fuels “is picking up” – emphasis on the “picking up” part. Sure, it remains well short of what’s needed, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Besides, who needs clean energy when there are dividends to be doled out to shareholders?

Oil and gas companies have embraced the role of fossil fuel custodians, ensuring that even if the clean energy transition speeds up, they’ll still have their place in the world. Such altruistic dedication to their bottom line is truly commendable.

In conclusion, we’re thrilled to witness the magnanimous efforts of Shell, Barclays, and their financial cohorts in promoting sustainable finance while fueling environmental degradation. Their exemplary greenwashing techniques are unmatched, leaving us in awe of their sheer audacity. Let’s give them a standing ovation for their commitment to profit over progress.

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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