De Correspondent

New Internal Shell Oil Climate Documents Revealed

Read time: 11 mins

By the Climate Investigations Center

Newly unearthed internal documents from Shell Oil Company provide new insights into what they knew about climate change and when they knew it.

Documents unearthed by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent are being published today on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center.  These documents date back to 1988 and show intense interest in climate change internally at Shell.

A “CONFIDENTIAL” 1988 document titled, “The Greenhouse Effect”, details Shell’s extensive knowledge of climate change impacts and implications. It also reveals an internal Shell climate science program dating back to 1981, well before the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was founded.

The document includes this concise note of precaution,

However, by the time the global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even to stabilize the situation.” (Link)

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