The UK-headquartered majors are pursuing strategies that assume the future plays out least favourably for hydrocarbons
BP and Shell have presented their new corporate strategies for a lower-carbon world as crafted to be robust and resilient under each of three global energy scenarios they both lay out. But their worst-case scenarios for oil and gas—and hence, best-case scenarios for the planet—appear to be the new strategies’ key drivers, as if the firms’ existential fears should they not radically adapt their traditional business model trumps the potential greater profit should progress be slower. Shell’s Sky 1.5 and According to The Economist, BP’s Net Zero were both modelled to meet the Paris Agreement’s more stringent 1.5°C goal. Despite this, these energy worlds of the future are surprisingly different for each scenario —in terms
Shell target a zero net carbon emission by 2050, saying that with this target, it will contribute to a net-zero world, where society stops adding to the total amount of greenhouse gases emissions (GHGs) in the atmosphere.
This supports the more ambitious goal to tackle climate change laid out in the Paris Agreement: to limit the rise in average global temperature to 1.5°Celsius.
Becoming a net-zero emissions energy business means that Shell is reducing emissions from its operations, and from the fuels and other energy products its sell to it customers. It also means capturing and storing any remaining emissions using technology or balancing them with offsets.
“We are transforming our business to meet our target, providing more low-carbon energy such as charging for electric vehicles, hydrogen and electricity generated by solar and wind power.
We are also working with our customers as they make changes, including in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise, such as aviation, shipping, road freight and industry”.
Shell said it believes its emissions peaked in 2018 and it will have to work to bring them down.
“We will reduce emissions from our own operations, including the production of oil and gas, by increasing energy efficiency and capturing or offsetting any remaining emissions. Emissions from our own operations make up less than 10% of our total emissions”.
It stated that most of its emissions come from the use of the energy it sells, “So we must also help our customers cut their emissions when they use that energy. Importantly, our target includes emissions not only from the energy we produce and process ourselves, but also from all the energy products that others produce and we sell to our customers”