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Shell lays out strategy to accelerate its net-zero transformation in line with declining oil production

Shell confirmed that total carbon emissions for the company peaked in 2018 and provided more details on the roadmap targeting a reduction in carbon intensity to achieve its net-zero goal by 2050. Shell’s recently published Powering Progress strategy forecasted a gradual reduction in oil production of around 1-2 per cent each year and accordingly a shift towards becoming a provider of net-zero emissions energy products.

“Our accelerated strategy will drive down carbon emissions and will deliver value for our shareholders, our customers and wider society,” said Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden. “We will use our established strengths to build on our competitive portfolio as we make the transition to be a net-zero emissions business in step with society.”

Shell’s target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 and now the company set out details of how it will achieve this goal, which will cover emissions from Shell’s own operations and also the emissions from the oil and gas that others produce and Shell then sells as products to customers.

The oil major expects that its total carbon emissions peaked in 2018 at 1.7 gigatonnes per annum and set out new incremental targets for emissions reduction (6-8 per cent by 2023, 20 per cent by 2030, 45 per cent by 2035 and 100 per cent by 2050, using a baseline of 2016).

“A presence across the entire energy system means we can optimise, scale-up, and trade products in a way that develops markets, drives down costs and will help accelerate the energy transition,” the company said in its statement. Shell’s aim is to build material low-carbon businesses of significant scale by the early 2030s.

The company seeks to have access to an additional 25 million tonnes a year of carbon, capture and storage (CCS) capacity by 2035, while around 120 million tonnes of CO2 will be offset by nature-based solutions by 2030.

In the near term, Shell’s strategy will rebalance its portfolio, investing annually 5-6 billion US dollars (4-5 billion euros) in its Growth pillar, including 2-3 billion US dollars (1.6-2.4 billion euros) in Renewables and Energy Solutions. In the next ten years, Shell aims to double the amount of electricity it sells to 560 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year, serving 15 million retail customers globally.

Shell targets a double-digit market share of global clean hydrogen sales by developing integrated hydrogen hubs to serve the industry and heavy-duty transport. Increasing the sale of low-carbon fuels and extending biofuels production and distribution business is also an integral part of Shell’s long-term plans.

In terms of e-mobility, Shell envisions growth of its global electric vehicle network from more than 60,000 charge points today to around 500,000 by 2025. The company also plans to take a leading role in liquefied natural gas (LNG) volumes and markets, to deliver more than 7 million tonnes per year of new capacity on-stream by the middle of the decade.

“Whether our customers are motorists, households or businesses, we will use our global scale and trusted brand to grow in markets where demand for cleaner products and services is strongest, delivering more predictable cash flows and generating higher returns,” concluded Shell Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden.

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