Ecosystems like forests, grasslands or wetlands naturally remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. And nature-based solutions are projects which protect, transform or restore these natural ecosystems so that they can absorb even more CO2 emissions.

And these projects can also have extra benefits such as offering alternative sources of income to local communities, improving soil productivity, cleaning air and water, and maintaining biodiversity.

Top 5 questions about nature-based solutions and carbon offsetting

Shell’s approach to nature-based solutions

Drive Carbon Neutral

We know that not everyone can switch to an EV or a hydrogen vehicle overnight and so, in the meantime, we provide drivers of petrol or diesel vehicles the option to drive carbon neutral in the UK.

Members of the Shell Go+ rewards programme can opt-in to have the carbon emissions of their fuel purchases offset for them by Shell. In order to do this, Shell uses carbon credits sourced from nature-based projects around the world.

One conservation project is the Cordillera Azul National Park project, between the Andes and the Amazon basin in Peru, and another is Katingan Mentaya project in Indonesia.

Forestry and Land Scotland

Forestry and Land Scotland

In 2019, Shell started working with the Forestry and Land Scotland team to establish around a million trees across the forest estate over the course of five years.

Forestry and Land Scotland manage and protect 640,000 hectares of Scotland’s national forest estate on behalf of the Scottish government. The estate makes up approximately 9% of Scotland’s total land area which is equivalent to 25 times the size of Edinburgh.

No single solution

No single solution

Carbon offsetting is only part of the solution when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions. Where possible, we all need to avoid producing CO2 emissions or choose solutions that help us to reduce them.

Shell has a target to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society, and we know that our business plans need to change to make this happen. We’ll do this in several ways. Firstly, by being more energy efficient as a company; secondly, by using and selling lower-carbon energy products such as renewable power, biofuels and hydrogen; and, thirdly, by storing away emissions that cannot be avoided.

In the UK, we continue to invest in new low carbon technologies and we offer customers a range of cleaner transport options as well as 100% certified renewable electricity for their homes through Shell Energy.

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Cleaner Transport

Shell wants to be a leading player in the transport system of tomorrow. That is why we are taking action today, investing in a range of new transport fuels with low or no carbon emissions, and helping our customers to offset the transport emissions that are less easy to avoid.

Nature-based solutions

The world needs a range of measures to limit carbon dioxide emissions while meeting rising energy demand. They include the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and wetlands. So how do such “nature-based solutions” work and what is Shell doing to support them?

Sowing seeds for the future

Glengarry in the Scottish Highlands is restoring native pine forest in a project supported by Shell, providing a perfect habitat for endangered species.

**Listen to The Energy Podcast: Trees: one way of tackling climate change? **