The vegetation covering around a third of the world’s surface is vital to maintaining the planet's natural balance. It supports intricate wildlife systems and helps maintain a healthy atmosphere, by taking in carbon dioxide (CO2) and releasing oxygen.

Yet it is under threat: from human activities, such as clearing woodland for farming and illegal logging, as well as climate change.

What are nature-based solutions?

Nature-based solutions, or natural climate solutions, are projects which protect, transform or restore land. In this way, nature absorbs more CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. These projects can lead to the marketing, trading and sale of carbon credits.

The protection and restoration of natural ecosystems could play an important role in limiting global warming to below 1.5°C, while bringing additional environmental and social benefits, according to studies cited by the International Panel on Climate Change.i

They also have further benefits such as offering alternative sources of income to local communities, improving soil productivity, cleaning air and water, and maintaining biodiversity.

What is a carbon credit?

A credit represents the avoidance or removal of greenhouse gases equivalent to 1 tonne of CO2.

Why is Shell investing in nature?

We are working to cut the emissions from our own operations, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy that our customers use. There is no single solution.

Our approach includes improving the energy efficiency of our operations; selling more, cleaner-burning natural gas; generating electricity from solar; and investing to grow our power business.  We are also supporting nature-based solutions.

Nature-based solutions can make a big contribution to our ambition to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, or sooner. They have a role to play in reducing the carbon intensity of the energy products we sell, as well as addressing our customers’ emissions footprint when they use energy products bought from Shell.

 

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Investment in Australia

Shell Australia will acquire Select Carbon, a leading Australian-based environmental services company that specialises in carbon farming.

What is Shell doing in nature-based solutions?

Shell intends to make significant investments in projects that use nature to reduce CO2 emissions, while bringing wider benefits.

As a start, in the Netherlands, we are supporting Staatsbosbeheer, the Dutch National Forestry Department, to plant more than 5 million trees over the next 12 years.

In Australia, Shell has one existing 800-hectare regeneration project of endangered native forest in the Brigalow ecological community in Queensland.

Shell has also signed an agreement with Land Life Company to create a 300-hectare reforestation project in Spain. Around 300,000 trees have been planted in the Castilla y Leon region.

In the UK, Shell has partnered with Forestry and Land Scotland, the Scottish government agency. Over the coming years, our support will help plant or regenerate around 1 million trees.

We also buy and sell carbon credits and are one of the most established traders of carbon credits in the world. The growing number of verified projects from which we buy credits is helping more customers meet their sustainability commitments.

NBS assurance

We undertake external verification of the integrity of the processes for the screening of third-party NBS projects that generate carbon credits for voluntary use. We also undertake external verification of the integrity of the processes for carbon credit procurement, reconciliation, retirement and Shell-branded certificate production, in support of Shell’s Net Carbon Footprint and Customer Value Propositions (CVP).

The assurance statements for these scopes can be found below.

  1. Limited assurance of the integrity of the processes for the screening of third-party NBS projects that generate carbon credits for voluntary use.
  2. Limited assurance of the integrity of the processes for carbon credit procurement, reconciliation, retirement and Shell-branded certificate production, in support of Shell’s Net CVP.

i https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/02/SR15_Chapter2_Low_Res.pdf

ii “Carbon neutral” indicates that Shell has engaged in a transaction to ensure that an amount of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂e) to that associated with the raw material extraction and transport, production, distribution and usage of the product or fuel has been removed from the atmosphere through a nature-based process or emissions saved through avoided degradation of natural ecosystems.

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