Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)
The direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from facilities we operate were 70 million tonnes on a CO2-equivalent basis in 2016, down from 72 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2015.
We use global warming potentials (GWP) from the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for calculating GHG emissions since 2015. GWP compares the impact of emissions from GHGs with the impact of emissions from the equivalent amount of CO2.
The reasons for our overall decrease in GHG emissions are as follows:
- Overall reduction in flaring;
- Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Canada’s oil sands operating for the full year 2016;
- divestments in 2015 and 2016;
- maintenance shutdowns.
These decreases were partially offset by inclusion of emissions from former BG facilities as of February 1st 2016.
The indirect GHG emissions from the energy we purchased (electricity, heat and steam) were 11 million tonnes on a CO2-equivalent basis in 2016, up from 9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2015, mainly due to the inclusion of BG facilities. These emissions were calculated using a market-based approach, as defined by the World Resources Institute GHG Protocol.
We expect that maintaining the energy efficiency levels of recent years will be more difficult in the future as existing fields age and new production comes from more energy-intensive sources. This could result in an associated increase in direct GHG emissions from our upstream facilities over time.
Our focus is on the direct and indirect emissions of the companies and joint ventures where we are the operator.
For information on the limitations of our GHG data see the GHG Assurance tab.
We have achieved external verification of our 2016 direct and indirect GHG data from facilities we operate.
See our GHG Assurance tab for more details.
Footnote: This new edition of the Petroleum Industry Guidelines of May 2011 (API, IPIECA, OGP) has revised chapters on organizational boundaries, references to scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and uncertainty.
Shell and the Carbon Disclosure Project
Read more about our approach to climate change in our public response to the Carbon Disclosure Project.