What does ‘Net Zero’ mean?

Net zero is a term that is mentioned a lot in the news and by many businesses, but it’s not always explained. This video sets out what net zero means and some of the steps we’re taking to achieve it.

Our global Climate Target

Shell's global target is to become a net zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society's progress towards achieving the goal of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change. Shell’s target supports the more ambitious goal to tackle climate change laid out in the Paris Agreement: to limit the rise in average global temperature to 1.5°Celsius.

Becoming a net zero emissions energy business means that we are reducing emissions from our operations and from the fuel and other energy products we sell to our customers. It also means capturing and storing any remaining emissions using technology or balancing them with offsets.

We are investing billions of dollars in a range of low-carbon technologies, including electric vehicle (EV) charging, biofuels, hydrogen, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), Nature Based Solutions (NBS) and wind power that will all be necessary to enable the transition. We are also working with our customers as they make changes, including in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise, such as aviation, shipping, road freight and industry.

Read more about our global climate target

Net Zero in the UK

In the UK, we support the Government’s ambitious target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. We are working with Government to help establish policy frameworks and comprehensive plans that will enable UK businesses, including Shell, to get to net zero by 2050. 

We believe that the business strategies we plan to deliver in the UK can already reduce our own UK emissions and those of our UK customers by 40% by 2030 (in comparison to 2019). Shell is also developing emerging businesses, such as CCUS and hydrogen, that will need to scale up post 2030 to help the UK Government meet the 6th Carbon Budget and achieve the UK’s target of net zero by 2050

Examples of actions we’ve already taken:

We actively support the growing numbers of electric vehicles on UK roads. We offer charging at over 110 of our services stations and, through the acquisitions of NewMotion and ubitricity, also offer customers access to a public network of thousands of charge points across the country as well as installation for homes and at workplaces.

For drivers who aren’t yet ready to switch to an EV, Shell offers members of the free Shell Go+ reward programme the opportunity to opt-in to have the emissions of their fuel purchases offset by Shell. To do so, we purchase carbon credits generated from projects around the world that protect and regenerate forests.

In June 2020, Shell Energy launched a range of carbon neutral home energy tariffs. The Go Further home energy tariffs offer customers the option of signing up for carbon neutral gas and electricity on top of the standard 100% certified renewable electricity. This means Shell Energy will offset the carbon dioxide emissions from every part of the home energy it provides, from production right through to the emissions produced when you use it.

Our Strategic Aims:

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Oil and Gas

Scenarios from independent organisations, such as the Climate Change Committee (CCC), suggest that the UK will continue to need oil and gas from the North Sea well into the future. Shell UK is committed to working in collaboration with energy industry partners and associations, government and regulators to support the industry commitment to achieve a 50% reduction in North Sea oil and gas greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and for the North Sea basin to become net zero by 2050.

Read more about Our Response to Climate Change

Shell recharge retail

Mobility

Our ambition in the UK is to increase our EV charging offer dramatically so our customers can charge at home, at work and on the go. We plan to offer 5000 rapid chargers on forecourts and in new locations by 2025 and up to 11,000 by 2030. This is as well as growing our on-street and public network and establishing mobility hubs - which will be all-EV forecourts.

Read more about E-mobility and our all-EV hub

Carbon Capture & Hydrogen

Carbon Capture & Hydrogen

Shell is also involved in the emerging areas of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and hydrogen. These technologies will be needed at scale post-2030 to help the UK Government meet its emissions reduction targets.

Read more about CCS and Hydrogen

Power

Power

Our ambition in the UK is to grow our businesses, such as Shell Energy and our trading business, that serving customers (B2C and B2B) with clean power.

Read more about Cleaner Power

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Shell’s ambition to be a net-zero emissions energy business

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Hydrogen

Hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements in the universe and could play a significant role in the transition to a clean and low-carbon energy system. Shell sees potential for the use of hydrogen in a variety of areas, from transport to industry to heating. Find out more below.

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?