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Shell Lobbied EU To Favour Gas Over Renewables – The Guardian

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 12.33.30Article by Joshua Warner published Monday 27April 2015 by Alliance News

PRESS: Shell Lobbied EU To Favour Gas Over Renewables – The Guardian

LONDON (Alliance News) – Royal Dutch Shell PLC successfully lobbied to undermine European renewable energy targets, in favour of the expanded use of gas, ahead of a key agreement on emissions cuts reached in October last year, according to newly released documents obtained by The Guardian newspaper.

Citing documents it received under the Freedom of Information Act, the newspaper said Shell began lobbying the then European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, since 2011 to scrap the European Union’s formula for linking carbon-cutting goals with binding renewable energy laws.

Barroso was replaced by Jean-Claude Juncker last November.

Shell argued that a market-led strategy of gas expansion would save Europe EUR500 billion in its transition to a low-carbon energy system, compared to an approach centred on renewables, said the newspaper.

“Gas is good for Europe, and Europe is good at gas,” Shell’s Upstream Executive Director Malcolm Brinded wrote in a five-page letter to Barroso.

The firm’s “single target” idea gathered traction, particularly among supporters of nuclear power and shale gas, and was agreed as an official position in discussions between the UK Treasury and the Department of Energy and Climate Change in mid-2013. Britain spearheaded the idea, with support from other countries in inter-state Green Growth Group meetings that year, before successfully getting a variant of the idea into the final European Union agreement last October.

The bloc agreed that by 2030 every country would cut its emissions by 40%, measured against 1990 levels, and that although the EU as a whole would commit to a 27% share for renewables in the energy mix, that target was not binding on individual member states.

Gas has become more and more important to Shell as its product mix sways more heavily to gas than oil, especially following the company’s acquisition of BG Group PLC, one of the biggest gas producers in Brazil, a country seen as highly prospective for offshore gas.


By Joshua Warner; [email protected]; @JoshAlliance

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