Shell is in the spotlight after announcing its profits for 2022 last Thursday, which were more than double its earnings in 2021– almost $40 billion to be exact. The company is Europe’s largest oil company by revenue and considering 2022’s record high gas prices, these high profits come as no shock. This announcement was followed by another: Shell is setting up a new platform in the North Sea.
Environmental activists did not take lightly to the news. In fact, three Greenpeace activists scaled the ship in protest, holding a single banner that reads, “Stop drilling. Start paying.” These protesters plan to remain on the ship until it reaches Penguins field, where the platform will be set to start drilling. Other Greenpeace activists set up a protest at Shell’s headquarters in London on the day of its annual profits announcement. They created a mock gas station price board displaying their profits ($39.9 billion) and under it, “The amount it will pay towards climate loss and damage: “?"
Shell’s website features “a cleaner energy future” page stating its “target to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society.” Yet it continues to start new drilling projects. This one could last up to 20 years, providing them with more oil, more money in their pockets and more environmental repercussions to follow. Shell and companies like it will continue to drill until there is no oil left. Shell combats these efforts by investing in carbon capture technologies, but they are at best minimal and aim to distract the public eye from the issues companies like Shell cause. And how much good can these systems do when the company pumps out far more oil than it can capture? Of course, environmentalists are glad to see efforts from oil companies to invest in green technology, but it raises the question: how much do they need to be doing? The answer is simple: more, more, more!
People aren’t in the dark anymore about global warming and are certainly not blind to the fact that oil and gas emissions are the main enemies. Transportation emissions made up 27% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 according to the EPA. Industry emissions followed closely behind at 24%, also fueled by burning/consuming fossil fuels (please note that not all of the 24% comes from fossil fuels). Thus, burning oil and gas for fuel makes up nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions. Companies responsible for creating these figures need to be held most responsible for combating them. $39.9 billion is in the pockets of those most responsible for global warming– how much longer can they sit comfortably destroying our planet?
Taylor Henninger is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Taylor by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.