Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Groups Pressure Shell to End Oil Addiction Before Its ‘Carbon Bubble' Bursts

Climate
Groups Pressure Shell to End Oil Addiction Before Its ‘Carbon Bubble' Bursts

Some environmental groups believe Shell's carbon bubble is about to burst. Meanwhile, the company is telling shareholders that fossil fuels will be needed for decades to come.

Friends of the Earth (FOE) UK and Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie) released a report Tuesday discusses the high-carbon projects in Shell's pipeline, the company's fossil fuel reserves that can't be burned and its investment in tar sands, which are about five times carbon-intensive than natural gas. The release of the study coincided with protests, a "#carbonbubble" social media campaign and the groups calling on Shell to make a few actions, but mainly to end its addiction to oil.

Protesters sit in "bubbles" outside Shell to encourage the company to end its addition to oil. Photo credit: @wwwfoecouk/Twitter

“By ignoring the carbon bubble Shell is pulling a bigger confidence trick than those who brought down the financial system—they are trying pass off a losing situation as being a sound financial investment to their investors," said Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Asad Rehman. “If they continue to downplay the carbon bubble, Shell jeopardizes ordinary peoples’ hard-earned pension pots and leaves billions of people facing devastating climate change.

“It’s time for Shell investors to wake up and switch their investments to clean energy that will create jobs and benefit the planet.”

The FOE study came out shortly after Shell released its own data and statements in an attempt to assure shareholders that nothing was wrong. The company dismissed climate change as an agenda. Though it recognized the almost universally accepted warming threshold of 2 degrees Celsius, the statement essentially argued that the real warming won't happen for a while.

"We concur with the view in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that there is a high degree of confidence that global warming will exceed 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century," the Shell statement reads. "Yet, this is not to argue that today's low level of action will continue at this pace. Indeed, changes in regulatory priorities could well be relatively sudden. However, because of the long-lived nature of the infrastructure and many assets in the energy systems, any transformation will inevitably take decades." 

Fossil Free UK's Twitter account offered a loose translation to its followers Tuesday morning: 

“Shell may not decide to take the 2-degree limit seriously, but the rest of the world does," said Geert Ritsema, head of the Energy and Natural Resources Campaign at Milieudefensie. “The Netherlands, [European Union], the G8 and the United Nations have all set this as official climate objective. And because global reserves of fossil fuels are five times too large, Shell will have to write off the most expensive and most carbon-intensive reserves first.

“If shareholders are to prevent their shares becoming worthless in the near future, they need to call on Shell now to stop its strategy that one-sidedly aims at investing in unconventional fuels.”

Milieudefensie is calling on Dutch pension giant ABP to disinvest from Shell and for Shell to meet its responsibilities for the environmental and social destruction from its oil operations in Nigeria. Additionally, ShareAction’s Greenlight campaign in the UK wants people to tell their pension funds with holdings in Shell to press the company to cease plans to drill the Arctic.

"If Shell wants to adapt to the required low-carbon future, there are several things the company can do, right now, to make greater progress," the study reads. "[Shell should] cut direct emissions where technologically possible; offer better transparency on their operations and, specifically, the risks climate change has for Shell; and divest from oil and gas projects with a high-carbon intensity."

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

NASA: Earth Could Warm 20 Percent More Than Earlier Estimates

Bloomberg Launches First Tool to Measure Risk of Carbon Assets Still in Ground

——–

Actress Jessica Smith gets her make-up done at the Point De Vue Salon on March 1, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. Marsaili McGrath / Getty Images

California became the first state in the nation to ban two dozen toxic chemicals from cosmetics Wednesday when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill to that effect into law.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The MoveOn political action committee memorializes coronavirus deaths in the U.S. on May 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images for MoveOn

As the coronavirus has spread around the globe, so have the germs of misinformation and conspiracy theories about the new disease. Fake news about the virus is so prevalent that health professionals have started referring to it as an "infodemic."

Read More Show Less

Trending

A Marathon Oil refinery in Melvindale, Michigan on June 9, 2020. The Federal Reserve bought $3 million in the company's bonds before they were downgraded, bringing taxpayers' total stake to $7 million. FracTracker Alliance

A new report shows the U.S. government bought more than $350 million in bonds issued by oil and gas companies and induced investors to loan the industry tens of billions more at artificially low rates since the coronavirus pandemic began, Bloomberg reported.

Read More Show Less
A September 17 report by the Rhodium Group calculates that 1.8 billion tons more greenhouse gases will be released over the next 15 years as a result of climate change rollbacks the Trump administration has achieved so far. Pete Linforth / Pixabay / CC0

By Karen Charman

When President Donald Trump visited California on September 14 and dismissed the state Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot's plea to recognize the role of climate change in the midst of the Golden State's worst and most dangerous recorded fire season to date, he gaslighted the tens of millions of West Coast residents suffering through the ordeal.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 04, 2020 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

By Jan Ellen Spiegel

It wasn't so long ago that the issue of climate change was poised to play a huge – possibly even a decisive – role in the 2020 election, especially in the race for control of the U.S. Senate. Many people supporting Democratic candidates saw a possible Democratic majority as a hedge against a potential Trump re-election … a way to plug the firehose spray of more than 100 environmental regulation rollbacks and new anti-climate initiatives by the administration over its first term.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch