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Shell updates investors on plans to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050

Shell has updated investors on plans to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner (covering scope one, two and three emissions). The detailed steps, outlined at the company’s Responsible Investment Annual Briefing, include:

  • An ambition to be net zero on all the emissions from the manufacture of all 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°C 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%); and
  • A pivot towards serving businesses and sectors that by 2050 are also net-zero emissions.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic having a serious impact on people’s health and our economies, these are extraordinary times,” Ben van Beurden, CEO of Shell, said. “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,” Mr van Beurden added.

“This announcement significantly increases Shell’s ambitions and commitments,” 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, said. “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.”

“These new ambitions build on the 2018 joint statement between Shell and Climate Action 100+,” Peter Ferket, Chief Investment Officer of Robeco and Co-lead as part of the Climate Action 100+ dialogue with Shell, said. “It proves that the strong and committed engagement of institutional investors with Shell can help accelerate the pace of change to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement. It raises the bar and sets out an approach for others in the oil and gas sector to follow.”

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