Oil giant Shell warned of risk of climate change in 1991 film

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell knew of the ‘catastrophic risk’ of climate change 30 years ago but continued to invest in oil and lobbied against action, the Guardian said on Tuesday.

Internal documents show that as early as 1986, Shell knew that oil and gas were damaging the climate, the paper said. And in 1991, the company made a 28-minute film called Climate of Concern, for public viewing, which warned of ‘extreme weather, floods, famines and climate refugees as fossil fuel burning warmed the world’.

The film was obtained by online Dutch journalism platform De Correspondent and shared with the Guardian.

Shell has recently lobbied successfully to undermine European renewable energy targets and is estimated to have spent $22m in 2015 lobbying against climate policies, the Guardian points out. In addition, the company’s investment in alternative energy sources has been minimal compared to its fossil fuel investments.

Shell said in a reaction: ‘Our position on climate change is well known; recognising the climate challenge and the role energy has in enabling a decent quality of life.

‘Shell continues to call for effective policy to support lower carbon business and consumer choices and opportunities such as government lead carbon pricing/trading schemes.’

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