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.

Revealed: UK Companies Opening Overseas Carbon Credit Accounts in Preparation for No-Deal Brexit

Read time: 4 mins
Power plant smoke stack

British companies are increasingly moving their carbon credits into new offshore accounts to get around punitive measures from the EU and in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, DeSmog can reveal. 

At least 35 companies have filed for EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) accounts in the Netherlands in recent months. Without these accounts, companies potentially face having millions of pounds’ worth of tradable carbon credits locked in the UK in the case of a no-deal Brexit, preventing companies from selling the permits. The new accounts brings the number of offshore carbon credit accounts traced by DeSmog up to 69.

Big Oil's ‘Natural Climate Solutions’ Feasibility Overblown, Critics Say

Read time: 7 mins
Deforestation in Central Kalimatan

A recently published report has called into question the efficacy of land-based solutions being pushed by NGOs and major oil companies alike to mitigate climate change.

Natural climate solutions (NCS) — including programs referred to as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) — represent a body of land-based approaches for capturing carbon from the atmosphere and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. NCS proposals range from enhanced forest management to conservation agriculture and ecosystem restoration.

ExxonMobil's Community Engagement on Plastics Plant Flaring 'Utterly Ineffectual', Residents Say

Read time: 6 mins
Mossmorran flaring

At a packed meeting in Lochgelly on Friday, about 200 people, including disgruntled residents, community leaders and local politicians, voiced their anger at continued environmental breaches at a polluting plant that looms large over the area.

The meeting was called following the latest in a series of unplanned flaring incidents at ExxonMobil's Mossmorran ethylene plant. Local people had raised the alarm over huge plumes of black smoke, chemical-smelling fumes and a rumbling noise emanating from the site.

Oil Majors Looking to Use Renewable Energy Schemes to 'Own the Customer' in Rural Africa

Read time: 5 mins
Workers construct a solar array in Malawi

By Sara Stefanini for Climate Home News

Armed with solar panels, lanterns and mini grids, European energy giants hope to capture the data of hundreds of millions of new, increasingly wealthy customers in rural Africa.

The first step is to set up tiny renewable generators independent of main power grids, often sold on pay-as-you-go schemes like mobile phones.

Once that basic energy supply is established – to charge phones, home lighting and other small appliances – it’s expected to fuel demand for a slew of new products and services, such as internet access, mobile banking, water pumps, mills, fridges, home batteries and cooking stoves. The reams of data on how these new customers use and pay for their energy will help companies decide their next moves.

Shell Ends Corporate Partnership with National Gallery

Read time: 4 mins
National Gallery

Shell is ending its corporate partnership with the National Gallery after a decade, emails seen by DeSmog UK reveal.

Campaigners have welcomed the news, saying the decision shows the company was “never a genuine philanthropist but a toxic company with an image to clean up”.

Fossil Fuel Companies Knew How Hard Keeping to IPCC's 'Unprecedented' 1.5C Limit Would Be — And Did Nothing

Read time: 6 mins
Benxi steel industry

The scientists are clear: “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are needed if the humans are going to prevent the world warming by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

This news — emanating from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) mammoth new special report —  comes as a surprise to almost no-one. Least of all the fossil fuel industry, which has known for decades that the carbon budget that keeps that goal within reach has been rapidly depleting thanks to its products.

Science Museum Actively Pursuing Fossil Fuel Sponsors Despite Climate Criticisms, Emails Reveal

Read time: 4 mins
Science Museum

The Science Museum continues to pursue a close relationship with fossil fuel companies despite campaigners’ repeated calls for the companies to be dropped as sponsor due to their contribution to climate change, emails obtained through a freedom of information request reveal.

The disclosure, obtained by campaign group Culture Unstained, comes two weeks before the start of Manchester Science Festival, where Shell is controversially sponsoring an exhibition. A low carbon NGO has already cut ties with the festival in protest at the deal.

Emails Reveal Museum’s Strategy to Counter Critics of Big Oil Sponsorship

Read time: 4 mins
Shell emails

Museum officials are failing to engage with climate concerns when choosing sponsors for major events, new documents reveal.

Campaigners say this means publicly-funded institutions continue to pick sponsors that are “at odds with the museum’s values as a scientific institution”.

Museum Prioritises Shell Sponsorship as Partners Quit in Protest

Read time: 3 mins
Shell pump with climate crisis tape

Manchester’s Museum of Science and Innovation prioritised Shell as an exhibition sponsor despite climate-focused partners objecting to the agreement, emails newly released after a freedom of information request show.

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.

Shell’s sponsorship of the exhibition is controversial, but not unusual. The company has corporate partnerships with the Science Museum, Southbank Centre and National Theatre. As DeSmog UK reported at the time, campaigners were “hugely disappointed” at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry's decision to follow suit.

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