Shell commits to net zero emissions

Energy giant Shell has committed to taking new action on climate change, including achieving net zero emissions within the next 30 years.

The commitment follows engagement with investors as part of Climate Action 100+, the initiative led by the Church of England Pension Board and Robeco.

Shell is now planning to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner. In addition, the energy giant is also accelerating its net carbon footprint ambition to bring it in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the average temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

To do this, Shell has to reduce the net carbon footprint of its energy products by 65% between now and 2050 (and by 30% between now and 2030).

Shell has also agreed to pivot towards serving businesses and sectors that by 2050 are also net-zero emissions.

To ensure ongoing compliance, independent analysis of Shell’s progress will be carried out by Transition Pathway Initiative, a data provider for the Climate Action 100+ initiative.

Across Europe, engagement with Climate Action 100+ is being driven by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). Over 450 investors, with over $40trn in assets, participate in Climate Action 100+.

IIGCC CEO Stephanie Pfeifer, who is also on the Climate Action 100+ steering committee, welcomed the agreement with Shell and expressed hope that it would encourage investors to hold other energy giants to account.

Pfeifer said: “It’s imperative we see companies across the entire oil and gas sector put strategies in place to achieve net zero emissions if we are to tackle climate change.

“Engagement with Shell will also continue as investors support the company in taking the steps needed to align its business with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Shell has been under pressure from investors for years in relation to its climate change policies. In 2018 the oil and gas giant agreed to link executive pay to short-term carbon emission reduction targets, also after engagement with Climate Action 100+.

Last Updated: 23 April 2020
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