Monday, December 05, 2022

Shell takes the spotlight on climate by leaving contractor

BERLIN ( Associated Press) — A longtime contractor for Shell has publicly called out the oil and gas company’s climate plans, accusing the company of “double talk” about exploiting new sources of fossil fuels. working to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Carolyn Dennett, who says she consulted Shell on safety issues for more than a decade, said on Monday she was ending her relationship with the company and urged others in the fossil fuel industry to do the same. urged.

“I’m leaving because of Shell’s dual talk on climate,” Dennett said in a public post on business networking site LinkedIn.

“They know that continued oil and gas extraction does immense damage to our climate, our environment and people,” she said. “And whatever they say, Shale isn’t just closing in on fossil fuels.”

Shell, which is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting for shareholders on Tuesday, responded by saying it is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

“We have set targets for the short, medium and long term, and have every intention of hitting them,” the company said in a statement. “We are already investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, although the world still needs oil and gas for decades to come in areas that cannot be easily decarbonised.”

Dennett said his growing personal concerns about climate change have made it difficult for him to work for Shell.

“Hopefully it’s one thing to support the company by transitioning to alternative energy sources and making sure they operate safely,” he told the Associated Press. “It’s really another thing to support new oil and gas projects.”

Dennett said climate change was not a topic of discussion among front-line employees at the company.

“It’s probably happening in the PR team and the marketing and branding team, but as far as I can see, it’s not happening in the operational divisions,” she said.

Dennett said she feels privileged to be able to break her ties with Shell, and admits that others may not find it so easy.

“But the fossil fuel industry, this is the past,” she said. “And if you can find a way out, please walk away while there’s still time. Do it now.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last month accused some government and business leaders of saying one thing and doing another in tackling global warming.

“Simply put, they are lying. And the consequences will be catastrophic,” he said, calling for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Guterres recently appointed an expert panel to scrutinize the companies’ net zero claims, amid concerns that they may simply be “greenwashing”. . Follow up on Associated Press’s coverage of climate change

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