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Shell Oil’s Climate Goals: A Masterclass in Greenwashing or Just a Load of Bull?

Posted by John Donovan 2 April 2024

In a move that could only be described as “bold,” Shell Oil has graciously gifted the world with its latest climate strategy, dubbed the “Shell Energy Transition Strategy 2024.” Oh, how we’ve been eagerly awaiting this gem from the fine folks who brought you oil spills and environmental devastation!

According to this masterpiece of corporate spin, Shell has decided to make a few tweaks to its climate goals. You know, nothing major. Just a slight downgrade of its 2030 target from a 20% reduction in net carbon intensity to a dazzling 15-20%. And who needs a target for 2035 anyway? Certainly not a titan of the fossil fuel industry like Shell.

But fear not, dear readers, for Shell’s revision is not a retreat from its environmental commitments. No, no, no. It’s actually a resounding endorsement of fossil fuels and a roadmap to their continued dominance in the energy landscape. Hooray for progress!

Let’s take a peek at Shell’s “four core beliefs,” shall we? First up, they’re doubling down on LNG production because apparently, liquefied natural gas is the answer to all our environmental woes. Who knew?

Next, they’re betting big on oil production, because why bother transitioning away from the very substance that’s driving us towards climate catastrophe when you can make a quick buck?

Oh, but it gets better. Shell is also a firm believer in the power of low carbon molecules and renewables. Translation: We’ll throw a bone to green energy as long as it doesn’t interfere with our bottom line.

And finally, brace yourselves for the pièce de résistance: Shell is banking on new carbon abatement and removal technologies to save the day. Because why bother actually reducing emissions when you can just invent some magical technology to suck them out of the atmosphere, right?

But wait, there’s more! Shell is absolutely giddy about the role of natural gas in the power sector. Forget about pesky renewables, folks. Natural gas is where it’s at. Who needs clean energy when you can have… slightly less dirty energy?

And let’s not forget their ambitious goal of becoming a “net zero emission energy business by 2050.” It’s a goal so lofty, so aspirational, that it’s almost laughable. But hey, who are we to rain on Shell’s parade? If they want to dream big while they continue to plunder the planet, who are we to judge?

So, dear readers, as you reflect on Shell’s noble efforts to save the planet (or not), just remember: when it comes to corporate environmental goals, it’s all about the grand gestures and empty promises. And may all your carbon emissions be net zero by 2050.

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