Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)
The direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from facilities we operate were 73 million tonnes on a CO2-equivalent basis in 2017, up from 70 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2016.
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 main contributors to this increase were the inclusion of the assets previously operated by the Motiva Enterprises LLC joint venture in the USA in our data from May 2017 and the return to production of previously shut-down units at the Bukom site in Singapore. The level of flaring in our Upstream and Integrated Gas businesses combined increased by slightly less than 10% in 2017, compared with 2016, partly due to the restart of facilities at Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) that were offline for most of 2016. These increases were partly offset by divestments (for example in Canada, Gabon, Malaysia and the UK) and reduced production at our Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Qatar.
The indirect GHG emissions from the energy we purchased (electricity, heat and steam) were 12 million tonnes on a CO2-equivalent basis in 2017, up from 11 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2016. 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.
For information on the limitations of our GHG data see the GHG Assurance tab.
We have achieved external verification of our 2017 direct and indirect GHG data from facilities we operate.
See our GHG Assurance tab for more details.
Footnote: This 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 CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project)
Read more about our approach to climate change in our public response to the Carbon Disclosure Project.