Shell has decided to try marketing natural gas as a clean fuel by bundling it with certificates for carbon-reduction projects, Bloomberg reports, quoting Shell Energy Europe boss David Wells.
Initially, the test offer has been made available to clients in Britain, Spain, Germany, and Italy to check which particular cleaner energy credits will be most attractive.
“Most companies are fairly early in the sustainability journey, so there’s a huge amount of interest. The point of transaction may be a little bit further down the track,” Wells told Bloomberg in an interview, admitting that it is all a work in progress as there is no clarity yet about how such credit-selling transactions will be accounted for because of the lack of clear rules in the area under the Paris Agreement.
“Deforestation schemes are the most obvious ones.“This is a voluntary offset, so it has to be something that resonates with the customer,” the executive also said.
Shell last year undertook to slash its carbon footprint by half by 2050 and accelerate its push into renewable energy, committing US$1-2 billion annually to greener energy projects. However, some of the company’s shareholders found this was not enough, pressuring the company at its annual shareholders meeting earlier this month.
“We call for this ambition to be translated into firm medium and short term targets, aligned with the Paris Agreement,” a group of shareholders including HSBC, UBS, AXA, and BMO Capital markets said in a statement at the meeting.
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An activist group dubbed Follow This went further, demanding that Shell reduce its emissions faster, but the company’s shareholders voted against it overwhelmingly, with 95 percent against it.
At the meeting, CEO Ben van Beurden said the resolution tabled by Follow This would make Shell’s job in adjusting to a more renewable energy future harder. The company is already among the most active in renewables and energy storage, growing its presence there both organically and through acquisitions, much like French Total, which is also at the forefront of Big Oil’s transition to a less oil-dependent future.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.