Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) vowed to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050, accelerating previous targets, as oil production was set to slowly decline from its 2019 peak.
The Anglo-Dutch company is in the midst of its largest overhaul yet as it prepares to expand its renewables and low-carbon business in the face of growing investor pressure on the oil and gas sector to battle climate change.
In a strategy update, Shell outlined plans to grow rapidly its low-carbon businesses, including biofuels and hydrogen, but spending will stay tilted towards oil and gas in the near future. It will continue to rely on its retail business, the world’s largest, aiming to increase the number of sites to 55,000 by 2025 from today’s 46,000. It also plans to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points to 500,000 from 60,000 now.
Shell did not outline any plans to grow its solar and wind power generation capacity, marking a stark difference from rivals, such as BP (NYSE:BP) and Total, which both aim to boost their ownership of physical wind and solar farms.
In the near term, Shell will invest at least $5 billion a year in what it calls its growth pillar, splitting the investment roughly in half between its trading and retail business and renewables units. It previously aimed to spend up to $3 billion on renewables and marketing combined.
Its upstream business, or oil and gas production, will still attract a larger share of its budget at $8 billion. It will also spend $4 billion on its liquefied natural gas (LNG) business and up to $5 billion on chemicals and refining.