Shell Signs Trillion Ton Manifesto

The Guardian reports:

Unilever, Shell, BT, and EDF Energy are among 70 leading companies today calling on governments across the globe to step up efforts to tackle climate change.

The companies, which have a combined turnover of $90bn, say the world needs a “rapid and focused response” to the threat of rising global carbon emissions and the “disruptive climate impacts” associated with their growth.

In a communiqué coordinated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, the signatories demand governments put in place policies to prevent the cumulative emission of more than a trillion tonnes of carbon, arguing that passing that threshold would lead to unacceptable levels of climate-related risk.

The statement urges political leaders to set a timeline for achieving net zero emissions before the end of the century, design a credible strategy to transform the energy system, and create a plan to tackle the global economy’s reliance on fossil fuels, especially unabated coal power.

This may be the big story in an already busy news week on the climate front.

Is there such a thing as a girlcott? I will prefer Shell products over other gasoline vendors henceforth.


  1. I'm a bit baffled as to how to interpret Shell signing up to zero emissions. Clearly they can't do that of themselves. They'd need CCS I think. Which I guess is fine by them, if everyone pays the same.

    DH is far too fond of the failed ETS for my liking.

  2. "I'm a bit baffled as to how to interpret Shell signing up to zero emissions. Clearly they can't do that of themselves."

    No, but then no-one can. The companies hold up the supply end, we hold up the demand end. As discussed here before, it doesn't really make sense to pin blame entirely on the supply side. The solution is going to have to be both sides of the supply-demand equation jointly lowering their carbon emissions to the floor. Was trying to think of a good metaphor, best I can manage is two people holding a long tray of water needing to avoid sloshing it. That's rubbish but just about gets the point across.

    What's positive about this kind of call, for me: working toward agreed rules that bind everyone. So yes: they're not saying they can do it themselves, in fact quite the opposite. They know they can only act in a framework, and that a framework can only be supplied through political action.

  3. Yes, his most recent piece on WG II is excellent. Though it's hard to be enthusiastic about his conclusion that doesn't mean it's wrong:

    There is a certain orthodoxy in only looking at 2 and 4 ºC scenarios. It plays into the unhelpful discussion that seems to prevail in climate politics that “it must be 2 ºC or it’s a catastrophe.” I posted a story on this late last year. As it becomes increasingly clear that the extreme mitigation scenario required for 2 ºC simply isn’t going to happen, society will need to explore the area between these two outcomes with a view to establishing what can actually be achieved in terms of mitigation and to what extent that effort will shift the impact risk. Maybe this is something for the 6th Assessment Report.

  4. Note the strong statement from the president of the World Bank.

    But all the other actors want governments to be the bearer of bad news, and they probably know that there is no global plan to stay below 2 degrees without extreme sacrifice that will not be proposed and would not be followed if proposed.

    Shell et al. are safe. Still, these statements give governments cover to propose more than they have thus far.

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