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Never before has humanity faced such a challenging outlook for energy and the planet. This can be summed up in five words: “more energy, less carbon dioxide”.


To help think about the future of energy, we have developed two scenarios that describe alternative ways it may develop. In the first scenario – called Scramble – policymakers pay little attention to more efficient energy use until supplies are tight.

Likewise, greenhouse gas emissions are not seriously addressed until there are major climate shocks. In the second scenario – Blueprints – growing local actions begin to address the challenges of economic development, energy security and environmental pollution. A price is applied to a critical mass of emissions giving a huge stimulus to the development of clean energy technologies, such as carbon dioxide capture and storage, and energy efficiency measures. The result is far lower carbon dioxide emissions.

We are determined to provide energy in responsible ways and serve our customers and investors as effectively as we can. Both these scenarios help us do that by testing our strategy against a range of possible developments over the long-term.

However, in our view, the Blueprints’ outcomes offer the best hope for a sustainable future, whether or not they arise exactly in the way we describe. I am convinced they are possible with the right combination of policy, technology and commitment from governments, industry and society globally. But achieving them will not be easy, and time is short. We urgently need clear thinking, huge investment, and effective leadership. Whatever your role in this, I hope these scenarios will help you understand better the choices you face.

Jeroen van der Veer, who retired as Chief Executive of Shell on June 30, 2009  

Shell Global Scenarios to 2050 in your language

Scenarios: An Explorer’s Guide

Read “Scenarios: An Explorer’s Guide” to build and use scenarios, gaining a deeper understanding of the world around you.

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