In 1986 Shell published their first climate-warning report and in 1991 they even made their own documentary, warning in great detail about the possibility of several degrees of warming and its potentially disastrous impacts.

The video, which investigative journalist Jelmer Mommers of Dutch journalistic platform The Correspondent unearthed yesterday, highlighted the dangers of changing weather patterns, droughts, floods and even as Shell called them ‘greenhouse refugees’. Shell pointed out 30 years ago that the scale of climate impacts showed the world would have to transition away from fossil fuels, to a renewable energy future. Shell concludes: “Action, now – is seen as the only safe insurance”

#ShellKnewOf course we all know that #ShellKnew about the climate crisis decades ago. Just like #ExxonKnew. But it’s still astounding to see it in their own words. It’s criminal. And it’s up to us to stop these rogue companies.

Posted by 350.org on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shell has since funded denier groups and today over 99% of its energy business is still fossil fuels. They continue investing in even more CO2-intensive and damaging carbon reserves


Where do we stand, over 30 years after Shell first openly acknowledged the dangerous scientific reality of man-made climate change, and 26 years after Shell itself stated that urgent action was required?

In 1989 Shell joined a group of oil companies initiated by Exxon – the ‘Global Climate Coalition’ – that started manufacturing doubt about climate change. The group’s climate denying rhetoric spread across the globe. Shell also lobbied against climate targets and climate policy on many different levels.

Meanwhile the company itself chose not to change. While their documentary called for urgent changes to their business model and pointed to ‘commercially available’ (in 1991!) renewable energy sources, including solar and wind – Shell decided to keep digging deeper for fossil-fuelled profits.

Right now the company invests less than 1% of its budget in ‘climate-friendly technologies’ – and spends vast sums of money not only on current extraction, but also on the search for ever more fossil fuel reserves. What’s more: the reserves that Shell digs up today are even more carbon intensive than before, as pointed out by Carbon Tracker Initiative.  All this in the face of overwhelming evidence that no new fossil fuel reserves can be developed and that well over 80% of existing fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to avert a climate crisis.

Tar sands, fracking, Arctic oil: Shell isn’t changing its ways

Shell operates tarsand mines, Shell fracks for shale gas (for instance Patagonia nature reserve), Shell invests in climate-damaging ‘Liquified Natural Gas’ (LNG – a huge potential source of leaking methane), Shell is the main oil extractor in the world’s largest ongoing oil spill (Nigeria), Shell is the main gas extractor in the world’s most damaging gas quake area (Groningen, 100,000 people affected), Shell drills for risky deep sea oil and perhaps most cynical of all: Shell still has eyes on possible oil reserves under the melting ice of the Arctic Ocean.

These  fossil fuel projects are all highly damaging to the climate. These are all clear indications of a fossil fuel company that shows no sign whatsoever of changing course in the face of a global climate catastrophe.  Shell has known for 30 years what it needed to do – it’s time to stop giving them the benefit of the doubt!

Now It Is Up to Us!

#ExxonKnew, #ShellKnew, they all knew.  Fossil fuel companies have spent decades sowing denial and delaying action so they could keep making profits.  But we have the power to stop them.

Our cities, pension funds, universities and churches have to stop investing in such reckless companies and divest from fossil fuels! It’s time for our local and national institutions to cut all their ties to these reckless companies. Through their investments, sponsorships, partnerships, they continue to legitimise a dangerous and illegitimate industry – it’s time we pulled out the pillars of support that continue to prop up the fossil fuel industry.

With Shell and their peers determined to keep us on a collision course with a climate crisis we must ensure our institutions stand up and take some moral leadership. Without the public support of our institutions — our banks, our faith leaders, our pension funds, our universities, our sports teams, our politicians — the fossil fuel industry cannot continue.  That’s why we’re calling on everyone, everywhere to Divest.

Join the Global Divestment Mobilisation, everywhere:

This coming May, divestment actions are spreading out across the globe, as part of the Global Divestment Mobilisation 2017, from 5 to 13 May. Put your own divestment action on the map to help highlight the climate impacts of companies like Shell – or join one that is already registered!

Are you on Facebook? RSVP to the event – and please invite your friends!  And Tweet Us @350europe using the hashtag #ShellKnew to let us know what else you think we should do.

We’ve been betrayed, lied to, and sabotaged by the fossil fuels industry for far too long. That time is over — it’s time to divest.

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