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Shell abandons 2035 emissions target and weakens 2030 goal

(CarbonBrief, 14 Mar 2024) Shell has abandoned a key climate target for 2035 and weakened another goal for 2030, according to its latest “energy transition strategy”.

The oil major has “updated” its target to cut the total “net carbon intensity” of all the energy products it sells to customers – the emissions per unit of energy – by 20% between 2016 and 2030. The reduction is now set at between 15-20%.

Within Shell’s strategy, chief executive, Wael Sawan, writes that this change reflects “a strategic shift” to focus less on selling electricity, including renewable power.

Instead, the company says investment in oil and gas “will be needed” due to sustained demand for fossil fuels. It emphasises the importance of liquified natural gas (LNG) as “critical” for the energy transition and says it will grow its LNG business by up to 30% by 2030. 

This amounts to a bet against the world meeting its climate goals, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others concluding no new oil-and-gas investment is needed on a pathway to 1.5C – and warning against the risk of “overinvestment”.

Elsewhere in the report, Shell notes that it has “chosen to retire [its] 2035 target of a 45% reduction in net carbon intensity” due to “uncertainty in the pace of change in the energy transition”.

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CarbonBrief, 14 Mar 2024: Shell abandons 2035 emissions target and weakens 2030 goal