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If the world is to avoid the most serious effects of climate change, global warming must be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as laid out in the UN Paris Climate Agreement.

In support of this goal, Shell has a group target to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society. To get there, we are transforming our business: reducing emissions from our operations, providing more low-carbon energy and working with our customers as they make changes too.

In October 2021, we announced a new target to halve our absolute emissions by 50% by 2030, compared to 2016 levels on a net basis. This covers all scope 1 and scope 2 emissions under Shell’s operational control. This means all emissions from our own operations, like refining, producing oil and gas, and manufacturing chemical products, as well as all the emissions from the energy we buy to run these operations, like electricity, heat, and steam.

Read more about our climate target

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Shell in the UK

We are committed to playing our part in meaningful change to the energy system. In the UK, we are contributing to eight of the UK government's 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. We are also developing nascent businesses, such as CCS and hydrogen, that will need to scale up after 2030 to meet the Climate Change Committee’s sixth Carbon Budget and help the UK towards the government target of reaching net zero by 2050.

Shell provided input to the Committee for Climate Change’s 2019 report which recommended that net-zero emissions should be achieved in the UK by 2050. The government has subsequently accepted this recommendation, and on June 27, 2019, it became law, making the UK the first G7 country to pass such legislation, marking an important milestone in the global fight against climate change.

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Electric mobility, renewables and energy solutions

Shell is building an integrated power business incorporating low-carbon and renewable electricity. Through Shell Energy, we provided home electricity to nearly a million customers in Great Britain. We continue to invest in electric mobility infrastructure and in September 2021 - set an ambition to install 50,000 on-street chargers across the UK by 2025.

We are also innovating in renewable energy trading. In June 2021, Europe’s largest battery storage project, the 100-megawatt system in Minety in Wiltshire, South West England, became fully operational. Controlled and optimised by Limejump, which Shell acquired in 2019, the battery will help balance the UK’s electricity demand, providing electricity for up to 10,000 homes for a day on a single charge. And we are looking at new roles for CCS and hydrogen to help the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors like manufacturing and heavy industry.

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Listening to society

Every year in the UK we engage in an active programme of events. We work with others from industry, government and civil society who challenge and expand our thinking.

Listen to our Energy Transition Manager, Jo Coleman, speaking on a Westwood Energy Transition Now podcast:

Jo Coleman on the Westwood Energy Transition Now podcast

Watch UK Country Chair David Bunch spoke at the Zemo Partnership’s Annual Conference:

David Bunch at the 2021 Zemo Partnership Annual Conference

Hear Shell VP for Electric Mobility on a Spectator podcast:

Around the corner: what will the future of transport look like?

To keep up to date with Shell UK’s views on the energy transition you can follow our Country Chair David Bunch on LinkedIn, or join the conversation on Twitter.

Heavy Oil – Pipeline at a CO2 injection well, part of the Carbon Capture and Storage Project.

Carbon Capture and Storage

Shell is also investing in CCS projects, which use a combination of technologies to capture and store carbon dioxide deep underground.

In Scotland, Shell, is one of three equal partners in the Acorn project, which looks to provide critical CCS and hydrogen infrastructure that will help the UK to decarbonise.

Shell is also part of the Northern Endurance Partnership, working to develop the offshore CCS infrastructure needed to safely decarbonise two major industrial clusters in the UK – Net Zero Teesside and Zero Carbon Humber. If successful, the development of this infrastructure could help support the decarbonisation of nearly 50% of the emissions from the UK's industrial hubs.

In South Wales, Shell is part of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC), a group looking to decarbonise the region using, amongst other technologies, CCS. South Wales is the second largest industrial emitter in the UK, releasing the equivalent of 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year across industry and energy generation and so the SWIC project could help to significantly reduce emissions and improve air quality in the area.

Listen and subscribe to our Energy Podcast

Shearwater Platform with walkway leading to wellhead jacket. Off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland.

The role for oil and gas to provide a stable energy transition

Scenarios from the UK’s Climate Change Committee, as well as our own scenarios, point to a steady decline in oil and gas demand to the middle of the century. But the UK will still be a significant net importer of gas in 2050, and just about self-sufficient in oil. So, the UK will continue to need oil and gas from the North Sea.

Shell today supplies around 10% of the UK’s total oil and gas needs. Our gas plants, pipeline systems and import terminals deliver more than 20% of the UK’s gas supply.

Our industry is also working, in partnership with UK Government, to deliver the North Sea Transition Deal to transform the sector. This aims to retain the upstream skills, capabilities and supply chain which are vital to delivering the energy transition and which could give the UK first mover advantage in emerging low-carbon sectors such as CCS and hydrogen.

Wide view of a valley with mountains in the background. In the foreground, a father is holding his son on his back.

Carbon pricing and nature-based solutions

Shell is encouraging governments to put a price on carbon. This aims to incentivise industry, the power sector and consumers to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and help encourage projects such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) facilities and nature-based solutions.

Nature-based solutions comprise all activities related to the protection, creation or redevelopment, of natural ecosystems – such as forests, grasslands and wetlands – to help absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. They can help deliver many other benefits, including improvements in biodiversity, water quality, flood protection and livelihoods.

Read: Sowing seeds for the future

Photo of a young girl playing with grass and touching solar panel on sunset.

Shell scenarios

One of the ways we explore what the future energy system might look like is by developing energy-focused scenarios that help us inform our strategy.

Shell scenarios ask “what if?” questions encouraging leaders to consider events that may only be remote possibilities and stretch their thinking. Our scenarios also help governments, academia, and business in understanding possibilities and uncertainties ahead.

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated significant turning points, with shifts across almost all societies and economies. It has exposed tensions and weaknesses in the global systems – but also shifted policy and behaviour in ways that open new possibilities for the future.

In response, in 2021, we published our new scenarios - Waves, Islands, and Sky 1.5. All three explore different initial recovery responses to the crises of 2020, and how these develop into future pathways towards global energy transformation.

Explore Shell scenarios

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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.

Cleaner Power

As the world changes and customer needs change, Shell is adapting too. We aim to make electricity a significant business for Shell, one that in the future could sit alongside oil, gas and chemicals.