The vegetation covering around a third of the world’s surface is vital to maintaining the planet's natural balance. It supports intricate wildlife systems and helps maintain a healthy atmosphere, by taking in carbon dioxide (CO2) and releasing oxygen.

Yet it is under threat: from human activities, such as clearing woodland for farming and illegal logging, as well as climate change. Globally, projects are under way to protect and restore these natural ecosystems.

Shell recognises the role that nature-based solutions can play in the future of our planet. As we work to cut the emissions from our own operations, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy that our customers use, we know there is no single solution.

Our approach includes improving the energy efficiency of our operations; selling more, cleaner-burning natural gas; generating electricity from solar and wind; and providing lower-carbon fuels such as biofuels and hydrogen, as well as more electric-vehicle charging points.

We are also supporting nature-based solutions and plan to invest up to $300 million over the next three years, between 2019 and 2021.

Nature-based solutions, or natural climate solutions, are projects which protect, transform or restore land. In this way, nature absorbs more CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.

Such activities can lead to the marketing, trading and sale of carbon credits. Each credit represents the avoidance or removal of greenhouse gases equivalent to 1 tonne of CO2.

Such projects have the potential to provide over a third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030 to stabilise warming to below 2°C, according to leading academics and non-governmental organisations.

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

Click here for an infographic explaining nature-based solutions


Shell's global trading portfolio

Shell is one of the most established investors of carbon credits in the world. Our growing portfolio of verified projects helps our customers meet the environmental and sustainability commitments that they have made to their employees, customers and shareholders. 

Such projects include:

Cordillera Azul

Cordillera Azul National Park REDD+ Project

This project strives to protect 1.6 million hectares of forest, a national park between the Andes and the Amazon Basin in Peru, much of which is under threat. It is estimated that the project will avoid the emission of 16.2m tonnes of CO2 by 2021. In addition, project revenue from carbon credits will help drive the development of alternative livelihoods for local communities such as agriculture, textiles, and crafts.

Katingan Mentaya
Katingan Mentaya Project

This project protects 157,000 hectares of peatland habitats in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The threatened land is home to several critically-endangered species, including up to 10% of the surviving Bornean orangutans, southern Bornean gibbons and proboscis monkeys. It generates around 7.5 million carbon credits each year. The project collaborates with 34 villages and provides alternative sources of income.

GreenTrees

GreenTrees

This reforestation project in the USA has planted over 42 million trees on 120,000 acres. It has produced over a million tonnes of carbon credits each year. The project also helps to restore species habitat, provide cleaner water and support economies.

Woman examining tree

Other strategic collaborations

Shell is also directly supporting projects, starting with two strategic collaborations. Firstly, in the Netherlands, Shell and Staatsbosbeheer, the Dutch National Forestry Department, will plant more than 5 million trees over the next 12 years with Shell investing €17.4 million.

Secondly, Shell has also signed an agreement with Land Life Company to create a 300-hectare reforestation project in Spain. Around 300,000 trees will be planted in the Castilla y Leon region by the end of 2019.
 

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Shell service station

Cleaner driving

Shell already offers drivers a range of ways to lower their emissions: from providing charging for electric vehicles to guidance on efficient driving.

From April 17 2019, customers that visit a Shell service station in the Netherlands will be able to drive carbon neutral through the use of nature-based carbon credits.

This will be done at no extra cost for customers who choose Shell V-Power petrol or diesel, while those who fill up with regular Shell petrol or diesel can opt to participate for an additional 1 cent a litre.

Shell will roll out similar choices to customers in other countries, starting with the UK in late 2019. This complements Shell's existing programme to help business customers avoid, reduce or compensate their carbon emissions, by supplying lower emission fuels and electric vehicle charging.

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