Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)
The direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from facilities we operate were 72 million tonnes on a CO2-equivalent basis in 2015, down from 76 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2014.
We have changed our reporting methodology to align with the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This has involved updating the way we calculate the global warming potential (GWP) of the GHGs we emit. GWP compares the impact of emissions from GHGs with the impact of emissions from the equivalent amount of CO2. This update has increased our reported GHG emissions (on a CO2-equivalent basis) by around 0.5 million tonnes.
The reasons for our overall decrease in GHG emissions are as follows:
- divestments, including unconventional assets in North America, some operations in Nigeria, and the Geelong refinery in Australia;
- operational improvements across many assets;
- overall reduction in flaring;
- start-up of Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Canada´s oil sands; and
- shutdown of multiple units at our Moerdijk chemical plant in the Netherlands.
The indirect GHG emissions from the energy we purchased (electricity, heat and steam) were 9 million tonnes on a CO2-equivalent basis in 2015, down from 10 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2014. 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 data tab.
We have achieved external verification of our 2015 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.