Safety consultant in U.K. quits Shell for ‘double talk’ on climate

A longtime contractor for British multinational Shell has publicly called out the oil and gas company's climate plans, accusing it of "double talk" by saying it wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions while working on tapping new fossil fuel sources.

Oil and gas company responded it's committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050

A longtime contractor for British multinational Shell has publicly called out the oil and gas company's climate plans, accusing it of "double talk" by saying it wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions while working on tapping new fossil fuel sources.

Caroline Dennett, who's based in the U.K. and says she consulted Shell on safety issues for over a decade, said Monday she was ending her links with the company and urged others in the fossil fuel industry to do likewise.

"I'm quitting because of Shell's double talk on climate," Dennett said in a public post on the business networking site LinkedIn.

"They know that continued oil and gas extraction causes extreme harms to our climate, to our environment, and to people. And whatever they say, Shell is simply not winding down on fossil fuels."

Shell, which is due to hold its annual general meeting for shareholders Tuesday in London, responded by saying it was committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

"We have set targets for the short, medium and long term, and have every intention of hitting them," the company said in a statement. "We're already investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, although the world will still need oil and gas for decades to come in sectors that can't be easily decarbonized."

Dennett said her growing personal concerns about climate change made it increasingly difficult for her to work for Shell.

"It's one thing to support a company to, hopefully, transition to alternative energy sources and making sure that they operate safely," she told The Associated Press. "It's another thing to actually be supporting new oil and gas projects."

Dennett said climate change wasn't a subject of discussion among front-line staff in the company.

"It's probably happening in the PR team and the marketing and branding team, but it's not happening in the operational divisions as far as I can see."

'Results will be catastrophic'

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres last month accused some government and business leaders of saying one thing but doing another when it comes to tackling global warming.

"Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic," he said, calling for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Guterres recently appointed an expert panel to scrutinize companies' net zero claims amid concerns that they could be mere "greenwashing."

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