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Shell’s Brilliant Strategy: Cut Green Jobs While Pretending to Care About the Planet

Posted by John Donovan: 25 October 2023

In an awe-inspiring move to really show the world where its priorities lie, Shell has decided to trim down its low-carbon workforce, because who really needs those, right? With the earnest goal of giving profits a loving embrace, Shell announced that it will be cutting at least 15% of jobs at its low-carbon solutions division and giving its hydrogen business the cold shoulder. The mastermind behind this genius plan? CEO Wael Sawan, who’s clearly got a sixth sense for high-profit ventures.

Taking a stand against the pesky environment, Sawan, our hero, decided to direct the company’s focus on those big-ticket items like oil and natural gas. I mean, who really wants a planet for their grandchildren when there are short-term profits to be made? A mere 200 jobs will be slashed in 2024 with another 130 under the ever-critical microscope, because why not?

Though some of these job roles might sneak their way into other parts of the company, Shell kindly reminds us that it’s still a huge entity with over 90,000 employees. Such generosity!

Shell, in its infinite wisdom, shared, “We are transforming our Low Carbon Solutions (LCS) business to strengthen its delivery on our core low-carbon business areas such as transport and industry.” Translated: They are reshuffling things around while keeping their eyes on the real prize – those sweet, sweet fossil fuels.

While Shell’s passion for hydrogen seemed genuine, with the company once upon a time backing hydrogen-fueled cars, they’ve recently been shutting down hydrogen stations left, right, and center. Maybe because electric vehicles were stealing their thunder? Or perhaps because Oliver Bishop, the head of the light mobility sector, decided to jump ship and now leads BP’s hydrogen show.

Let’s not forget that Shell did try to paint itself green by constructing a gigantic electrolyser plant in the Netherlands. And let’s applaud its adorable attempt to get U.S. federal grants for a low-carbon hydrogen hub in Louisiana. Though, oops, they didn’t make the cut.

Shell assures us with a straight face, “We will be disciplined in only making investments with the highest chance of creating value and lowering emissions.” Because it’s all about balancing that green image while raking in the greenbacks.

CEO Sawan emphasized that Shell’s ambition to be a net-zero carbon emitting company by 2050 hasn’t changed, despite the confusing mixed signals. And while he faced some internal pushback last month with employees openly urging him to stay the green course, Sawan remains steadfast.

Investors might be wringing their hands over Shell’s strategy, but the company firmly sticks by its commitment to… profits, apparently. 

Note to Shell: The sarcasm is all in good fun. Any factual mistakes are unintentional. Corrections welcome.

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