SHELL will today update its investors on their plans to become a net-zero emissions energy business ‘by 2050 or sooner’.
Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell, commented on the news: “With the COVID-19 pandemic having a serious impact on people’s health and our economies, these are extraordinary times.
“Yet even at this time of immediate challenge, we must also maintain the focus on the long term.
“Society’s expectations have shifted quickly in the debate around climate change.
“Shell now needs to go further with our own ambitions, which is why we aim to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner. Society, and our customers, expect nothing less.”
The detailed steps, to be outlined at Shell’s Responsible Investment Annual Briefing today, will include:
- An ambition to be net zero on all the emissions from the manufacture of all their products (scope one and two) by 2050 at the latest;
- Accelerating Shell’s Net Carbon Footprint ambition to be in step with society’s aim to limit the average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This means reducing the Net Carbon Footprint of the energy products Shell sells to its customers by around 65% by 2050 (increased from around 50%), and by around 30% by 2035 (increased from around 20%);
- A pivot towards serving businesses and sectors that by 2050 are also net-zero emissions.
The announcement comes during a trying period for the global oil industry, with the International Energy Agency predicting yesterday that global oil demand will fall 29 per cent in April as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, down to a level last seen in 1995, and and nine per cent this year.
Last weekend, OPEC+ agreed to reduce oil output by 9.7 million barrels per day for May and June, four times the previous cut made in 2008.
Adam Matthews, Director of Ethics and Engagement of the Church of England Pensions Board, Board Member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, and Co-lead as part of the Climate Action 100+ dialogue with Shell, added: “This announcement significantly increases Shell’s ambitions and commitments.
“It is indicative of Shell’s confidence in not only navigating the immediate situation but rightly sets the focus on developing net-zero pathways in key sectors that shape the demand for energy.
“Ultimately, it will be by developing and supporting net-zero pathways in these sectors that we will achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.”