London, July 27th 2023 – As Shell reports profits of £11.6 billion ($14.8 billion) for the first half of this year, new analysis shows that the company is set to increase its investment in oil and gas. This comes in a week when scores of people have died in wildfires amid a blistering heatwave across the Mediterranean.
According to Global Witness's new analysis of Rystad data, Shell's investment in oil and gas projects for 2023 is predicted to skyrocket to £11.3 billion, marking a 10% surge from the previous year. These investments are set to rise by another 7% next year, according to Rystad.
Despite the intensifying climate emergency, Shell’s spending on what it categorises as "renewables and energy solutions" pales in comparison – only between £1.6 billion and £3.1 billion in 2023, according to the company’s strategy unveiled last month.
The "renewables and energy solutions" category is problematic, however, as it lumps together real renewable energy projects – like solar and wind power – with those that are not renewable and will not help fight the climate breakdown, like carbon capture.
Last month, Global Witness estimated that Shell’s decision to slash its climate targets could produce an average 29 million tonnes of extra carbon per year, almost as much as Denmark emits annually. By 2030, Shell’s additional estimated emissions would be as much as Spain – one of Europe’s largest polluters – produces in one year.
Jonathan Noronha-Gant, Global Witness, Senior Campaigner, said:
“While the planet burns, Shell is making billions in profits, paying out massive dividends to its shareholders, and ramping up its oil and gas investment. This is a company that acknowledges the urgency of the climate crisis. And yet it has U-turned on its climate commitments and doubled down on toxic fossil fuel energy.
“Fossil fuels are the number one cause of climate breakdown, which is stoking extreme heatwaves, forest fires and drought. Every house burnt to the ground, every town forced to evacuate, every ecosystem lost to a wildfire is a necessary consequence of a business model like Shell’s, which prioritises short-term cash grabs over the safety and survivability of our societies.
“Millions of people in Europe and around the world are already suffering from Big Oil’s refusal to act on climate change. Millions more will suffer if governments continue their love affair with fossil fuels. This is a defining choice for our generation – to continue to prop up a dying and destructive industry, or to pivot towards a greener, cleaner future.”
Notes to Editor
Oil and gas investment estimates produced by Rystad, an industry leading energy data firm. Underlying data and calculations available upon request.
Shell forecasts its 2024-2025 spends on “renewables and energy solutions” as between £3.1 and £3.9 billion, minus between £0.6 and £1.6 billion in “power dilutions,” resulting in a final spend of approximately £2.3 billion per year. For further information, see Shell’s Capital Markets Day presentation, June 2023, available at: https://www.shell.com/investors/investor-presentations/capital-markets-day-2023/_jcr_content/root/main/section/simple/text_1695238364_copy_695577015.multi.stream/1686739511216/018241635a98a83269986e2b3fab2365078083ce/CMD23-slides.pdf.
At its June Capital Markets Day, Shell also announced a U-turn on its pledge to reduce oil production by up to 2% per year through 2030.