A longtime contractor for British multinational Shell has publicly denounced the oil and gas company’s climate plans, accusing it of ‘doublespeak’ by saying it wanted to cut greenhouse gas emissions while working on the exploitation of new sources of fossil fuels.
Caroline Dennett, who is based in the UK and says she has consulted Shell on safety issues for more than a decade, said on Monday she was ending her ties with the company and urged others in the fossil fuel industry to do the same.
“I’m resigning because of Shell’s climate double talk,” Dennett said in a public post on the professional networking site LinkedIn.
“They know that continued oil and gas extraction is causing extreme damage to our climate, environment and people. And no matter what they say, Shell is simply not turning to fossil fuels.”
Shell, which is due to hold its annual general meeting of shareholders in London on Tuesday, responded by saying it was committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
“We have set short, medium and long-term goals, and fully intend to achieve them,” the company said in a statement. “We are already investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, even though the world will still need oil and gas for decades to come in sectors that cannot be easily decarbonized.”
Dennett said his growing personal concerns about climate change made it increasingly difficult for him to work for Shell.
“It’s one thing to help a business hopefully transition to alternative energy sources and make sure they’re running safely,” she told The Associated Press. . “It’s another thing to actually support new oil and gas projects.”
Dennett said climate change was not a topic of discussion among frontline staff at the company.
“It probably happens in the PR team and in the marketing and branding team, but it doesn’t happen in the operating divisions as far as I know.”
“The results will be catastrophic”
Last month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres accused some governments and business leaders of saying one thing but doing another when it comes to tackling global warming.
“Put simply, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic,” he said, calling for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure.
António Guterres recently appointed a panel of experts to look into the companies’ net zero claims, fearing they are mere “greenwashing”.