Shell plc (Shell) has published its first energy transition update since the launch of its Powering Progress strategy in 2021. At our Capital Markets Day in June 2023, we outlined how our strategy delivers more value with less emissions, emphasising the “more value” part. In this energy transition update, we are focusing on how the same strategy delivers “less emissions”.
Our target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 across all our operations and energy products is transforming our business. We believe this target supports the more ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Shell’s strategy supports a balanced and orderly transition away from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy solutions to maintain secure and affordable energy supplies.
“Energy has made an incredible contribution to human development, allowing many people around the world to live more prosperous lives. Today, the world must meet growing demand for energy while tackling the urgent challenge of climate change. I am encouraged by the rapid progress in the energy transition in recent years in many countries and technologies, which reinforces my deep conviction in the direction of our strategy,” said Wael Sawan, Shell’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Shell has a very important role to play in providing the energy the world needs today, and in helping to build the low-carbon energy system of the future. Our focus on performance, discipline and simplification is driving clear choices about where we can have the greatest impact through the energy transition and create the most value for our investors and customers. We believe this focus makes it more, not less, likely that we will achieve our climate targets. By providing the different kinds of energy the world needs, we believe we are the investment case and the partner of choice through the energy transition,” said Sawan.
Our energy transition plans cover all our businesses. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a critical fuel in the energy transition, and we are growing our world-leading LNG business with lower carbon intensity. We are cutting emissions from oil and gas production while keeping oil production stable, and growing sales of low-carbon energy solutions while gradually reducing sales of oil products such as petrol, diesel and jet fuel. As one of the world’s largest energy traders, we can connect the supply of low-carbon energy to demand, as we have done for many years with oil and gas.
We have made good progress against our climate targets:
  • By the end of 2023, we had achieved more than 60% of our target to halve emissions from our operations by 2030, compared with 2016. This goes above and beyond the targets set by signatories to the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter agreed at COP28.
  • We continue to be an industry leader in reducing methane emissions. We were one of the first companies to set a target to achieve near-zero methane emissions by 2030. In 2023, we achieved 0.05% methane emissions intensity – significantly below our target of 0.2%. And in 2023 we also contributed to the World Bank’s Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Fund – further supporting industry-wide action to drive down methane emissions and flaring.
  • In 2023, we achieved our target to reduce the net carbon intensity of the energy products we sell, with a 6.3% reduction compared with 2016 – the third consecutive year we hit our target.

As Shell transforms into a net-zero emissions energy business, we aim to take the lead in the energy transition where we have competitive strengths, see strong customer demand, and identify clear regulatory support from governments. To help drive the decarbonisation of the transport sector, we have set a new ambition to reduce customer emissions from the use of our oil products by 15-20% by 2030 compared with 2021 (Scope 3, Category 11).1

Our focus on where we can add the most value has led to a strategic shift in our integrated power business. We plan to build our power business, including renewable power, in places including Australia, Europe, India and the USA, and have withdrawn from the supply of energy directly to homes in Europe.

In line with this shift to prioritising value over volume in power, we will focus on select markets and segments. This includes selling more power to commercial customers, and less to retail customers. Given this focus on value, we expect lower total growth of power sales to 2030, which has led to an update to our net carbon intensity target. We are now targeting a 15-20% reduction by 2030 in the net carbon intensity of the energy products we sell, compared with 2016, against our previous target of 20%.

We will continue to transparently report our progress against our targets and ambitions every year.

Driving towards a net-zero future

We are investing $10-15 billion between 2023 and the end of 2025 in low-carbon energy solutions, making us a significant investor in the energy transition. And in 2023, we invested $5.6 billion on low-carbon solutions, more than 23% of our total capital spending.
These investments include electric vehicle charging, biofuels, renewable power, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. Our investments in new technologies are helping to reduce emissions for Shell and our customers. We aim to help scale new technologies to make them an affordable choice for our customers and are focusing our advocacy on key areas which we believe are critical to the energy transition: policies that support national net-zero ambitions including carbon pricing, supplying the secure energy the world needs, driving changes in demand and growing low-carbon solutions.
1Customer emissions from the use of our oil products (Scope 3, Category 11) were 517 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2023 and 569 million tonnes CO2e in 2021.