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In a recent interview with BBC, Shell Oil CEO Wael Sawan called it “dangerous and irresponsible” to divest from fossil fuel production while the world is still dependent on fossil fuels. Shell is one of the largest energy companies in the world. Sawan took over as CEO in January 2023. To defend his position, Sawan argued that cutting fossil fuel production would inflate the cost of living around the globe. He particularly highlighted the effects it would have on developing nations. According to him, before moving away from oil and gas, there needs to be infrastructure in place to Support the transition to renewable energy. The use of fossil fuels is generally accepted to be the greatest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions which are driving Global warming.
Most climate scientists and the United Nations disagree with Sawan’s stance. The Earth is rapidly approaching a climate tipping point. To avoid raising the global temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius, immediate and drastic action must be taken. This temperature rise is the accepted indicator of the point at which Climate change will have increasingly harmful effects on humanity and environmental health. The UN has encouraged fossil fuel companies to begin pursuing net zero emissions. Climate change will also be particularly devastating to the Global South, which has a disproportionate number of developing nations compared to the Global North.
Sawan also discussed the possibility of Shell moving its headquarters and stock market options from the United Kingdom to the United States. This follows the U.K.’s implementation of a temporary tax on energy companies’ windfall profits. Sawan argued that, while the company has no immediate plans to move, the U.S. may become a more attractive market for energy companies.
Despite the continued threat fossil fuels pose to the environment, Shell continues to Seek New Oil and Natural Gas Reserves. Sign this petition telling them to STOP!
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