Shell turns tables on big oil lobbyists

Shell is the world’s 5th biggest oil company with revenues of over $265bn.

It supplies around 3% of all the energy the world uses. Its annual development budget is between $25bn & $30bn and they spend nearly $50M per year on climate lobbying.

So, you might think that most of that lobbying budget would go on denying climate change, after all they have a lot to lose in a world dominated by renewables?

It came as a bit of a surprise to us however, when we read that they are leaving the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) association next year.

It turns out that the AFPM does not support the Paris Agreement and Shell does. That all sounds pretty bland, maybe “not supporting” means something different in oil company speak?

Shell publicly supports the goal of the Paris Agreement. They have stated: “The need for urgent action in response to climate change has become ever more obvious since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015.”

Shell certainly seems to be leading the big oil company pack in green investments. The company has plans to spend $1-2 billion per year on clean energy technologies, which sounds great until you weigh it up against their total budget of $25 to $30 billion. 

Whilst we agree with Shell, that “we need urgent action,” we do not think their actions are matching their words. They are still spending 93%+ of their budget on projects that make the problems worse. At least it’s a start….

Perhaps Shell now thinks renewables are unstoppable and will soon replace the fuels they sell, maybe this is just their way of handling this market transition.

If we were Shell, we would be betting bigger, Kodak and Nokia probably felt they had strategies in place to handle their market transitions. The longer they tinker the less likely they are to survive. Shell also state they are evaluating their lobbying groups memberships. Handily, we have put them in a list below which shows where they are lobbying the lobbyists to change their stance.

Maybe they would be better spending the $50 on running their operations on renewables instead of paying people to whisper in the ears of our politicians?