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Monday, May 18, 2015

Shell in news ~ for a video - storyboard arctic oil !!!

There are some issues which are regularly talked about globally ~ Global warming is one such hotly issued issue……… it is stated that  there is the rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and Oceans since the late 19th century and its projected continuation. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists have been claiming to have certainty that it is primarily caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

Royal Dutch Shell plc, [popularly Shell] is an Anglo–Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom. The gas super major is also one of the world's most valuable companies. Shell has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It has secondary listings on Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange.

Shell is now in news ~for a video compilation which reportedly was an attempt to influence young people in runup to UN climate change talks in Paris in December.  The film project is being developed in partnership with US-based online ad agency Zooppa, and, according to a leaked email, was to be pitched at platforms such as Vice, the online news service. An email between Zooppa staff discussing the Shell brief makes it clear “you should NOT mention on your storyboard Arctic Oil”.

Environmentalists say Shell’s involvement in exploiting reserves in the Arctic undermines its attempt to portray itself as a responsible oil and gas company keen to tackle global warming. While references to the Arctic are ruled out, the memo says “you can mention instead oil, gas, wind, nuclear energy”. Greenpeace – which received the leaked email – believes the competition is being run in a bid to influence younger people in the run-up to critical climate change talks convened by the United Nations in Paris in December.

The email appears to be written by one Zooppa staffer to another - While the Anglo-Dutch group has insisted it needs to drill off Alaska this summer as part of an effort to see whether it can find oil and replenish the world’s reserves, the email suggests Shell realises its operations in the Chukchi Sea could lose it support. A Shell spokesman is quoted as saying: “We said in our brief that we wanted to get these films noticed by Vice, but we didn’t expect it to happen this way. At no point was any direction given by Shell to our agency to advise entrants against mentioning the Arctic in their films. We’ve taken the agency outside and given it a stern talking to, and it is now absolutely clear on this.  It is stated that Zooppa declined to comment.

Royal Dutch Shell has been accused of pursuing a strategy that would lead to potentially catastrophic climate change after an internal document acknowledged a global temperature rise of 4C, twice the level considered safe for the planet. A paper used for guiding future business planning at the Anglo-Dutch multinational assumes that carbon dioxide emissions will fail to limit temperature increases to 2C, the internationally agreed threshold to prevent widespread flooding, famine and desertification. Instead, the New Lens Scenarios document refers to a forecast by the independent International Energy Agency (IEA) that points to a temperature rise of up to 4C in the short term, rising later to 6C.
The revelations come ahead of the annual general meeting of Shell shareholders in the Netherlands on Tuesday, where the group has accepted a shareholder resolution demanding more transparency about the group’s impact on climate change.  Hundreds of environmentalists took to the seas off Seattle in kayaks, canoes and paddleboards on Sunday to protest against the company’s controversial plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean. The “Shell No” protest was held close to where Shell’s Polar Pioneer drilling rig is docked. One banner read: “We can’t burn all the oil on the planet and still live on it.”

Charlie Kronick, climate campaigner at campaign group Greenpeace, said Shell and IEA saw fossil fuels continuing to be burned, with the earth facing temperature rises of 3.7°C or 4°C in the short term, mounting to 6°C later on.  According to a consultant of Greenpeace -  “There is an incoherence at best between oil companies on the one hand positioning themselves as being on the side of the world’s developing countries and while on the other actively pursuing strategies which will entail catastrophic climate change which we already know is having a significant impact on the global south,” she said. Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands, which has carried out its own review of activities by the Anglo-Dutch oil group, said the company often argues that it is moving away from oil towards cleaner gas but has often concentrated on the most carbon intensive forms of gas such as liquefied natural gas. Shell’s carbon dioxide emissions have risen in 2014 and are set to increase further as it expands the business through a planned £47bn takeover of rival BG.

The Guardian’s Keep it in the Ground campaign seeks to persuade the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation to divest themselves of their shareholdings in fossil fuel companies. Thousands of people have signed the petition started by this.

To get back to some history of Shell in India - set up in 1928, The Burmah-Shell Oil Storage and Distributing Company of India Limited was a pioneer in more ways than one, and began operations with import and marketing of Kerosene. It pioneered rural marketing by reaching out to people even in remote villages to ensure supply of kerosene. With motor cars, came canned petrol, followed by service stations which were built in the 1930s.  In Oct 1932,  the company fuelled  J.R.D. Tata's historic solo flight in a single engine de Havilland Puss Moth from Karachi to Bombay (Juhu) via Ahmedabad.  In Jan 1976, the Burmah Shell Group of Companies was taken over by the Government of India.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

18th May 2015.

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