Thursday, March 29, 2018

Is Shell’s New Climate Scenario As ‘Radical’ As It Says?

Multicrystalline solar cells on the roof of the visitors center of the solar cell factory of Shell Solar, Germany (Credit: Friedrich Stark / Alamy Stock Photo) Click to Enlarge.
This week, Shell published a “radical” new climate change scenario, showing how the world could meet the “well-below 2C” goal of the Paris Agreement.

The oil-and-gas giant says this “Sky” pathway would involve “re-wiring the whole global economy in just the next 50 years”.  Global oil demand would peak in 2025 and gas in the 2030s. It says this is technologically and economically feasible – though it stops short of saying it is politically or socially possible.

Shell’s head of scenarios tells Carbon Brief this would be “very challenging” for the firm, but that the company could still “thrive”.  Others have criticized the work, arguing that it maintains fossil fuel use at today’s levels, for decades to come, thereby failing to genuinely test Shell’s existing business model.

In fact Carbon Brief analysis shows that Shell’s scenario is broadly consistent with other well-below 2C pathways drawn from the academic literature.  Almost all of these alternative futures share a heavy reliance on using unproven negative emissions technologies to suck excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

Read more at Is Shell’s New Climate Scenario As ‘Radical’ As It Says?

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