Activists from climate-hit countries are exposing Shell’s reckless plans to drill for more oil and gas, as the company announces record profits. Here’s what you need to know.
- Greenpeace International activists have boarded a ship carrying crucial equipment for Shell to produce more oil and gas in the North Sea.
- The plan: occupy the equipment for as long as possible, and expose Shell’s reckless plans to keep drilling for more fossil fuels.
- The message to Shell: Enough is enough. Stop drilling and start paying for the climate destruction you’ve caused.
- Shell’s record profits: This morning (Thursday), Shell announced record annual profits of $39.9bn. That’s over double what Pakistan needs to recover from last year’s devastating floods.
- Protest at Shell HQ: Activists have set up a mock petrol station price board outside the company’s London HQ, highlighting their profits and their failure to pay for climate damage (see photo above).
- Activists on board: Four activists are on board Shell’s ship occupying its huge cargo: an essential bit of oil and gas production equipment bound for the North Sea. The ship is still on course for its first scheduled stop in Norway.
- Chasing the ship: Greenpeace’s ship the Arctic Sunrise is chasing at full speed, aiming to catch up and stay in communication with the activists.
Why Greenpeace is taking action
- By drilling for more oil and gas, Shell are knowingly making climate change worse.
- This is destroying people’s lives around the world – often the people who did least to cause the problem.
- So while Shell makes billions in profits, they’re also causing billions of dollars of climate damage.
- That’s simply not fair, so Greenpeace is taking action to put it right.
- We’re calling on Shell to stop drilling and start paying for the climate damage they’ve caused.
- The world can’t stop using oil and gas overnight. But drilling for more fossil fuels isn’t the answer.
- There’s already more oil and gas available than we can safely burn, and experts say more drilling won’t even help reduce energy prices.
What you can do
Sign the petition
You can put pressure on the fossil fuel industry by joining the call for climate justice. Petitions alone can’t save the world, but adding your name is a powerful way to show how many people are demanding change:
Tell Shell: Stop Drilling. Start Paying
Shell doesn’t have much of a social media presence but can you send a message to Shell on Twitter?
Tell people what’s happening
Think about someone in your life who’d want to know about this, and link them here, or to Greenpeace’s posts on social media.
Some important facts
There’s a basic injustice at the heart of the climate issue: the people suffering the most are often the ones who did least to cause the problem. Countries like Pakistan, Somalia and the Philippines were rocked by climate disasters in 2022, but people there create much less carbon pollution than those in richer countries.
Climate chaos: Climate change, driven by Shell and other fossil fuel companies, is causing huge damage and disruption worldwide. Some estimates put the cost to poor countries at half a trillion dollars and 293,000 lives.
Shell’s plan: the ship is carrying a piece of equipment called a floating production storage and offloading unit that they’ll use to ‘redevelop’ the ‘Penguins’ oil and gas field in the North Sea. Essentially, they’re planning to squeeze every last barrel out of this field. In the middle of a climate crisis.
How much oil and gas? Shell’s equipment would enable them to pump out the equivalent of up to 45,000 barrels of oil a day from the Penguins field. Burning all the oil and gas they get from this project would create 45m tonnes of CO2. That’s more than the entire annual emissions of Norway.
Drilling for more oil and gas is only good for Shell’s profits: Nobody’s saying we can stop all oil and gas use immediately. But that’s not a reason to drill new wells. There’s already more than enough oil and gas available to keep things going while we switch to clean energy.
Experts say that adding drilling for more oil and gas won’t help bring down energy costs. So this isn’t about supplying people’s needs – it’s about Shell keeping the world hooked on its products, and slowing the shift to better energy sources.
Covering the cost: It’s estimated the fossil fuel industry made enough profit from 2000-2019 to cover the cost of climate losses in 55 climate-vulnerable countries nearly 60 times over.
This is personal: Many of the people involved in this action have been personally affected by climate disaster. You can read the crew’s stories here.