News24

Shell gloats over climate lawsuits

2012-03-15 14:05

London - Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it was sued for causing climate change but that, like some other global warming cases taken against energy companies by environmentalists, the cases were dismissed.

The Anglo-Dutch group said in its annual report, published on Thursday, that, "together with other energy companies" it was subject to climate change litigation taken by parties it did not name.

"We believe these lawsuits are without merit and are not material to Shell," the world's second-largest non-government controlled oil company by market value added.

Scientists believe carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuels such as oil and gas are a major cause of global warming.

A spokesperson said the cases related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and had been dismissed years ago. He said the comment in the report reflected Shell's view that any future lawsuits of a similar nature would also be without merit.

Price collapse

Companies have generally been successful in such legal battles.

In 2011, the US Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit against five big power companies, that sought to force them to cut their CO2 emissions, claiming the utilities had created a public nuisance by contributing to climate change.

The oil industry has worked hard for over a decade to position itself as part of the solution to global warming rather than its principal culprit.

Natural gas, which accounted for around half of Shell's 2011 output, produces around half the CO2 that coal does, to yield a similar amount of energy.

Companies have sought to expand markets, and prices, for gas, by telling governments the quickest way to cut CO2 emissions was to replace coal-fired power plants with gas turbines, and for gas to be adopted as a transport fuel.

The advocacy effort has accelerated in recent years after an explosion of shale gas production in the US led to a collapse in natural gas prices.

Comments
  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-03-15 20:24

    1000 years ago there was global warming. Google it. Just quoting. I have a neutral opinion

      Leroy - 2012-03-16 12:54

      and during how many years did it take to increase the temperature by 3 degrees C? 5000 years? 500? 50? 5? then think about it some more! so in other words you dont like making a stand for what you believe in? should fight to find the truth

      sven.gohre - 2012-03-23 20:23

      Leroy, the planet has only increased by 0.8C since 1880, when records were started, so I am not sure where your 3C heating comes from. In fact in 2000 when this whole "Hockey-stick" explanation of Global Warming started, they predicted a 5C increase in the Earth's temperature by 2015. In fact there has been 0C (ZERO degrees Celsius) of warming since then. The whole theory of Global Warming will be discredited by 2015 if things stay as they are. I cannot wait to here how they are going to spin the failure of Global Warming when it does not rise by 4.5C in the next 3 years. I am sure by then we will see global cooling as we are overdue another ice-age and not a warming cycle. Also more scientific research should be done on the effects of the sun's cycles on the earth's temperature and stop all those that want us to return to the age before electricity and mass production before they destroy civilisation as we know it.

      sven.gohre - 2012-03-23 20:40

      P.S. Leroy, we are still about 1.5C lower than the Roman Optimum of 2000 years ago. So the doom sayers are lying when they say that the earth is at it's warmest since the last Glacial Ice Age. Therefore I take what they say as nothing more than a means to get Billions of Dollars in funding to help the politicians skin their populations alive with so called "Green Taxes".

  • ludlowdj - 2012-03-16 09:40

    Science itself has made any attempt to hold anyone responsible for climate change impossible. The entire subject becomes moot from one simple statement, "farts add to green house gasses which promote climate change" this valid statement effectively makes it impossible for anyone to sue anyone in respect of climate change. We also know that climate change is a naturally occuring cycle which will happen and continue happening even after man is long gone.

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