Royal Dutch Shell

Shell and Exxon’s Brent Oilfield Decommission Shows How Industry Hits Communities and Environment to the Very End

Read time: 8 mins
A diagram of the Brent oil field infrastructure

The North Sea oil and gas industry is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to emitting dangerous greenhouse gases.

Shell and Exxon are packing up and moving out of the famous Brent oil and gas field in the North Sea. As a final hurrah, almost 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be emitted as four platforms are dismantled and parts are either left to erode in the ocean or moved onshore and recycled.

That’s equal to about five percent of the UK's North Sea industry’s annual emissions — from the start to very end, the Brent oil field continues to contribute to climate change.

But emitting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of dangerous greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, nitrous dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere is not the only environmental danger that comes with plugging and abandoning the wells.

Fossil Fuel Giant Shell to Sponsor Exhibition at Manchester Science Festival

Read time: 3 mins
Shell logo evil

They’re at it again.

Despite campaigners’ repeated calls for publicly-funded museums to drop controversial commercial deals, the Museum of Science and Industry has agreed a deal with fossil fuel giant Shell to sponsor a new exhibition, DeSmog UK can reveal.

The exhibition, Electricity: The Spark of Life will run for six months, as part of the Manchester Science Festival. It will be sponsored by Shell UK, North West Electricity, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Campaigners said they were “hugely disappointed” at the museum’s decision.


To see details of more fossil fuel company sponsorships, check out our Greenwash Database


Oil Giants Shell and Eni Face Trial in Milan over Bribery Allegations in Biggest Corruption Case Facing Sector in Years

Read time: 4 mins
Shell truck

One of the biggest corruption cases faced by the oil industry in recent years is due to resume in Milan on Wednesday as two of the world’s biggest oil companies Royal Dutch Shell and Italian firm Eni are facing trial.

Prosecutors are bringing criminal charges against Shell and Eni executives over allegations of corruption regarding a $1.3 billion oil deal in Nigeria.

This is the first time an oil company as large as Shell or senior executives of a major oil company have ever stood trial for bribery offences.

The case, which has been repeatedly delayed, involves the 2011 purchase by Shell and Eni of Nigeria’s OPL 245 offshore oilfield — one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks.

How Shell Greenwashed its Image as Internal Documents Warned of Fossil Fuels' Contribution to Climate Change

Read time: 9 mins
Shell clean air advert

Shell knew about the relationship between burning fossil fuels and climate change as early as the 1980s. So what did the company decide to do about it? Stop burning fossil fuels?

No. It changed its advertising strategy.

A tranche of documents uncovered last week by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent published on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center, revealed that Shell knew about the danger its products posed to the climate decades ago. The company has continued to double-down on fossil fuel investment since the turn of the century despite this knowledge.

But in the wake of a bribery scandal in Nigeria that resulted in two dozen employees being fired, the company was concerned enough about its dirty image to work out a new PR strategy.

Revealed: Here is what #ShellKnew about Climate Change in the 1980s

Read time: 3 mins
Cover pages of a Shell internal document

Shell knew climate change was going to be big, was going to be bad, and that its products were responsible for global warming all the way back in the 1980s, a tranche of new documents reveal.

Documents unearthed by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent, published today on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center, show intense interest in climate change internally at Shell.

Shell Threatened with Court Unless it Takes Serious Climate Action

Read time: 3 mins

Campaigners are threatening to take oil company Shell to court in the Netherlands unless it takes major climate action.

Friends of the Earth Netherlands sent a formal letter (see below) to the company today, outlining the steps the campaigners believe Shell must take to bring its business plan in line with the global climate goals as set out in the Paris Agreement.

The legal action was started after Shell announced it planned to continue to put around 95 percent of its investments into extracting more oil and gas. It expects to invest only around five percent in sustainable energy.

Mapped: Cambridge Analytica’s Ties to the Fossil Fuel Industry

Read time: 3 mins
Network map

Revelations continue to emerge about Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has found itself embroiled in a scandal around data privacy and electoral manipulation.

Three whistleblowers have gone public in the Guardian and Observer to outline how Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data to influence the outcomes of the US presidential election and Brexit referendum.

DeSmog UK has previously mapped how the company ties to climate science denial through its Brexit and Trump connections. Now, Nafeez Ahmed over at Motherboard has outlined how Cambridge Analytica has ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Greenwash Database: Tracking Big Oil in Small Communities

Read time: 7 mins
Hopscotch

Over the past two years, major oil companies in the UK have sponsored over 100 community activities, educational awards, and local events, DeSmog UK can reveal.

This allows the firms to greenwash their image and cheaply purchase a social license to operate within the communities.

DeSmog UK’s new database, launched today, tracks fossil fuel companies’ involvement in local communities through funding and sponsorship. It includes local level and educational sponsorship deals from five of the most prominent fossil fuel companies operating in the UK: BP, Shell, Exxon, Total, and Chevron.

Analysis: Shell's 'Green Plan' Doesn't Add Up to Much

Read time: 5 mins
Smoke stack

Shareholder intervention has helped to produce Shell’s green plan, a way to cut the energy giant’s climate impact. But questions remain, writes Mitchell Beer for The Energy Mix.

A leading producer of fossil fuels, which last month announced its intention to reduce its contribution to the global warming stoked by society’s prodigal consumption of its products, may now be feeling a little crestfallen. Shell’s green plan leaves some critics saying the group’s figures don’t add up very impressively.

Royal Dutch Shell pledged last month to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2035 and 50 percent by 2050, while investing US$1-2 billion per year in renewables, and electric vehicles between 2018 and 2020. 

The group said its announcement was a response to shareholder pressure and the targets in the Paris Agreement on cutting emissions. 

Tackling climate change is a cross-generational, global, and multi-faceted effort,” said CEO Ben van Beurden. “This is a challenge for the whole planet, for all of society, for customers, for governments, and indeed for businesses.

It will mean meeting increasing energy demand with an ever-lower carbon footprint. And it is critical that our ambition covers the full energy life cycle, from production to consumption. We are committed to play our part.’’

The announcement earned measured praise from environmental groups, and van Beurden said the commitment was just a first step.

But the cash infusion to Shell’s new energies division was still well below 10 percent of the company’s total annual investment, and the phrasing of the GHG promise suggested an intensity-based target – which would mean the 20 and 50 percent reductions will be calculated on fossil production levels that Shell will expect to increase year after year.

Big Oil and Weapons Sponsorship makes New Scientist Complicit in Hiding Human Rights and Environmental Abuse

Read time: 6 mins
Shop with New Scientist branding

By Chris Garrard, a member of the Art Not Oil coalition of groups that campaigns against oil sponsorship of arts and culture.

Yesterday in London, the doors opened at ‘New Scientist Live’, a four-day ‘festival of ideas and discovery’. The event features a line-up jam packed with big names such as astronaut Tim Peake, naturalist Chris Packham and author Margaret Atwood. Unfortunately, they have been joined by some equally well-known but less welcome names in the role of corporate sponsors: Shell and BAE systems.

So, as festivalgoers arrived, members of activist groups Campaign Against Climate Change and Art Not Oil made sure they were there to greet them – pointing out the destructive impacts of these unethical companies and the irony of partnering with Shell, a company that has previously attempted to undermine climate science.

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