Oil companies are finally beginning to bow to the reality that the world is getting serious about climate change — or might be, sometime soon. And in that “might,” that lingering doubt, is contained a long and strange face-off, a game of bluff and counter-bluff, as fossil fuel giants maneuver to hang on as long as possible.
The latest chapter in this story is a new report from Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company. It’s called the “Sky scenario” and it envisions a world that achieves net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, thus (in the company’s accounting) holding global average temperatures beneath the international target of 2 degrees Celsius.
The fact that an oil major is grappling with the 2°C target at all is notable — and the fact that it sees the pursuit of that target wiping out most of its primary business is more notable still. There are people in suits, sitting around conference tables in the Hague and Houston, talking about the end of fossil fuels as a major global industrial concern. That’s a pretty big step forward from even four or five years ago.
But some climate activists say that the Sky scenario is weak and self-serving.
A brief explainer on Shell's new climate report pic.twitter.com/wISnA2Ruis
— Greg Muttitt (@FuelOnTheFire) March 27, 2018
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