The debates about climate change and its inevitability, our ability to prevent it happening and what we do to mitigate its effects if we fail to act are becoming more heated.
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A recent press release published by Shell stated that renewables would no longer receive investment from the oil giant and that, instead, the company would focus solely on oil, gas and bio-fuels. The press release went on to say that renewables could not compete with other opportunities in their portfolio.
Shell could be shooting itself in the foot by not investing in renewables for the future of energy production. It is well known that Esso tried to keep climate change low on the government agenda, but some of Shell’s other competitors, such as BP are investing more aggressively in the renewables market, helping to secure the future of the world’s energy.
Between 1996-2006, Shell is said to have invested $1.25 billion into renewable energy schemes, much of which was wind power. To see that figure drop to zero is a huge blow to the future of energy. As Shell will no longer be spending this money in the wind, solar and hydro-electric sectors, the company will likely be focusing on Canadian tar sands as a source of future oil. This would be a devastating blow for the environment as it is one of the most polluting forms of fossil fuel and requires huge amounts of energy to extract and purify.
It seems that for all Shell has done to try and convince the public that they are not just an oil company but an ‘energy’ company, the money is much more important to them.