For release: May 18th, 2015
(The Hague) Royal Dutch Shell will face questions and concerns from shareholders and investors tomorrow on its plans to attempt another season of offshore drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean this summer. These concerns come on the heels of a weekend of escalating protest and opposition in Seattle, where Shell has ignored municipal orders and landed its Arctic Fleet at the Port of Seattle.
“Shell’s Arctic program is a high-risk and high-cost attempt to clutch to a fossil fueled future that is slipping away,” says Hannah McKinnon with Oil Change International from The Hague. “Pouring billions of dollars into new fossil fuel reserves is like making a massive investment in landline telephones just as smartphones were hitting the market – it is not where the future is headed. Shell is refusing to see the writing on the wall.”
Scientists and economists confirm that Arctic oil will have no profitable market as the world moves to address climate change. Institutions including the International Energy Agency, World Bank, and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agree that the large majority of proven fossil fuel reserves must remain unburned as the world tackles climate change. Exploration and exploitation of new reserves are likely to lead to stranded assets.
Shell’s leadership will also face questions on the company’s decision to ignore municipal authorities in Seattle and land their drilling fleet at the Port of Seattle. The controversial decision to grant the fleet a lease earlier this year has been met with widespread public, legal, and political opposition – leading to an order to delay arrival while the lease is reevaluated and potentially rescinded.
“Seattle wants nothing to do with Shell, nothing to do with the destruction of the U.S. Arctic Ocean, and nothing to do with Shell’s efforts to dig up carbon we cannot afford to burn,” says Matt Maiorana with Oil Change International from Seattle. “Shell has found themselves at the heart of a community that will not be complicit in opening up the Arctic to reckless fossil fuel companies, and they will do everything in their power to stop it.”
Oil Change International will be attending Shell’s AGM, along with other NGOs including Greenpeace UK and Platform.
For further comment and interviews:
Hannah McKinnon, Senior Campaigner, Oil Change International
+49 (0) 173 38 32 344