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Shell Energy debuts new ‘carbon neutral’ tariffs

Nature based solutions: Shell Energy debuts new ‘carbon neutral’ tariffs

Energy giant launches new carbon offset tariffs, as polling shows majority of public think lockdown has made them more aware of climate impacts

James S Murray:

Shell Energy Retail has this week launched two new ‘carbon neutral’ energy tariffs for British households, combining its existing 100 per cent renewable power offer with a promise to offset emissions from heating and cooking through investment in nature-based projects.

The new ‘Go Further’ home energy tariffs, debuted yesterday, aim to offset carbon dioxide emissions created during the lifecycle of customers’ gas and electricity use through certified carbon credits from projects that protect or enhance forests around the world. One tariff offers fixed prices for two years, while the other fixes them for three years.

In addition to offsetting emissions created by the production and consumption of gas, the new tariff also offsets the small amount of carbon created when 100 per cent renewable electricity is produced and distributed to customers’ homes.

“Shell supports the UK’s ambition to get to net zero emissions by 2050, and recently set out our own ambition to become a net zero emissions energy business in the same timeframe,” said Colin Crooks, CEO of Shell Energy Retail. “Working towards net zero homes will play a big part in getting the UK to net zero emissions.”

Carbon offsets have faced criticism from some campaigners, amidst allegations they can fail to deliver promised emissions savings and can distract from the need to tackle emission directly.

However, Crooks defended the approach insisting the company was also committed to helping customers cut their own emissions.

“We are here to help our customers make their homes more energy efficient and shift heating to alternative, cleaner forms of energy such as electric heat pumps or hydrogen,” he said. “At Shell we’re actively exploring options in all these areas but carbon offsetting also has a role to play in helping consumers tackle their carbon footprint.”

The company also stressed that it would purchase carbon offset credits that have been independently verified and can deliver both emissions reductions and can protect or enhance existing natural forest ecosystems. Such projects include work in the Cordillera Azul National Park in Peru and Katingan Mentaya in Indonesia.

The news also came as Shell released the results of an Ipsos Mori survey of 1,000 people, which fund that the Coronavirus pandemic has led to a shift in the public’s attitude to the environment. Over two thirds of respondents said they will seek out products with a lower carbon footprint as a result of the pandemic.

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