Shell, one of the world’s largest oil companies, has set aside $450m to invest in carbon offsetting projects, with the goal of spending the equivalent of half the current market for nature offsets every year. However, a joint investigation by the Guardian, Die Zeit, and Source Material into Verra, the world’s leading carbon standard for the voluntary offsets market, has found that more than 90% of their rainforest offset credits are likely to be “phantom credits” and do not represent genuine carbon reductions.
Shell’s decarbonisation strategy includes reducing their scope 1 and 2 emissions from 68m in 2021 to 41m in 2030, through renewable power and efficiency improvements, with nature-based solutions (NBS) accounting for 2-7m tonnes of this reduction. In 2020, Shell invested $90m in NBS projects, and allocated $480m to various projects the following year, with $456m of it for NBS projects. Shell has also been involved in the creation of the carbon market, with staff sitting on key advisory posts.
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