London, 14th June – Shell’s CEO, Wael Sawan, is expected today to axe the company’s pledge to reduce its oil output by up to 2% annually through 2030 at its Capital Markets Day conference. 

Global Witness estimates, using data from energy analysts Rystad, that Shell’s U-turn could produce an average 29 million tonnes of extra carbon per year, almost as much as Denmark emits annually. By 2030, Shell’s extra estimated emissions would be as much as Spain – one of Europe’s largest polluters – produces in one year.

Campaigners are asking Shell to reconsider their “bombshell” decision considering the recent IPCC’s recent Synthesis Report, which warned there is a more than 50% chance that global temperature rise will reach or surpass 1.5 degrees between 2021 and 2040, which would have a devastating impact for the planet.

Shell’s announcement comes as it and other fossil fuel giants like BP made record profits in 2022. Despite its windfall, earlier this year BP also gutted promises to reduce its oil and gas production by 2030.

Jonathan Noronha-Gant, Global Witness, Senior Campaigner, said:

“Record profits, off the back of the energy crisis should be boosting up green investment. Instead its shareholder pay-outs and a doubling down on climate-wrecking fossil fuels. It will always be profit over people and planet for polluters.”

This U-turn from Shell is a climate bombshell and exposes the hollowness behind the setting of such a target. Shell simply cannot be trusted – with either their own meagre targets or our futures.”

“Even by Shell’s own analysis, to stay below 1.5C, warming growth in oil and gas production must be stopped immediately and if they can’t even listen to their own climate analysis, who will they listen to?”

Notes for editor

  • Estimates for additional carbon produced as a result of Shell’s anticipated reversal are made by Global Witness based on oil and natural gas liquid production data from Rystad Energy.
  • Global Witness calculations assume a 2% reduction based on Rystad’s 2022 Shell production estimates and compares this pledge reduction to Rystad’s Shell production estimates for 2023 to 2030. Global Witness calculations assume Shell would have reduced its oil production by 2% compared to its 2022 level. This pledged reduced production is compared to Rystad estimates for Shell’s production between 2023 and 2030. Global Witness estimates over this period Shell will now produce an extra 234 million tonnes of carbon, an average 29 million tonnes over eight years. Calculations available on request.