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Shell’s Political Spin

by Claudette

September 25, 2008

G8 adIn contrast to its tar sands and other dirty operations, Shell recently launched a new political campaign in which the company emphasizes its commitment to combating climate change. The campaign promotes carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology that would capture CO2 from power plants and refineries and bury it underground. The technology is unproven, expensive, energy intensive and generally impractical, yet Shell asked leaders of the G8 nations to pay for it.

Shell points out in expensive full page ads that more energy will come from more carbon-intensive types of fossil fuels in the future. Shell states:

Its technically challenging to convert heavy bitumen [from tar sands] into clean burning fuel, so CO2 emissions are higher than conventional petrol.

Yet, rather than investing in readily available, cleaner technologies, like solar or wind, the company plans to increase investment in dirty energy, and is asking nations of the G8 to fund risky attempts to bury its dirty emissions. All while Shell and other oil companies are raking in record profits.

Ironically, through ads like these Shell has gained a better reputation than its competitors as a good corporate citizen addressing climate change. In reality, Shell is not addressing climate change, its perpetuating it.

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