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Shell publishes global warming scenario

Energy company Shell has published its ambitious pathway for the world to restrict global warming to 1.5°C, which concurs with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global warming well below 2°C.

While Shell says it expects to do its part, the scenario is aimed at what needs to be done by countries and individuals to tackle global warming. According to Shell, the pathway is ambitious and extremely challenging, but it is technically feasible.

The scenario sees fossil fuels continuing to play a role for the rest of this century, although it expects oil production to peak around 2025 and gas production to follow suit another 10 years or so later. Oil will, however, still be needed to make lubricants like transmission oil, even once the world’s entire transport fleet is powered by electricity or hydrogen.

In the introduction to the report, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says about the scenario:

“Sky 1.5 requires pioneers across all parts of society to push things forward: pioneering leaders, countries and businesses. Shell intends to play its part and help society to succeed. And success means having a healthy planet, as well as people able to enjoy better lives.”

One of the most notable interventions in the scenario is the planting of trees on an area almost equivalent to that of Brazil. Combined with other efforts to reduce or mitigate carbon emissions, the scenario sees global temperatures peaking at 1.7°C higher around 2050, before gradually dropping to 1.5°C by the end of the century as vast amounts of carbon are removed from the atmosphere.

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