11 December 2020 — DESMOGUK
A fresh policy, a new logo, a sharp haircut, a feel-good ad.
Rebranding – personal, professional or political – is a powerful tool that can reshape the narrative and win over hearts and minds.
Shell is a master of the makeover. Looking at its Twitter account, you might assume the company had recently burst forth, Phoenix-like from the flames, on an altruistic mission to help us irresponsible individuals fight our carbon-filled existence – asking innocent questions like “What are you willing to change to help reduce emissions?”
Shell’s announced some ambitious targets and is increasing its investments in low carbon energy, but that’s still just a tiny proportion of its overall business model. And let’s not forget, research shows it’s responsible for around 2% of all global emissions between 1894 and 2010. To add further insult to injury, Shell has known about the causes and dangers of climate change for nearly 40 years.
This week, the oil giant was back in court in the Netherlands – not that it featured on its social media accounts. It’s accused of “unlawful endangerment” by knowingly undermining the world’s chances of keeping global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
On the brink of the fifth anniversary since the treaty was signed, is it really good enough for those most responsible for pollution to continue to ignore the climate crisis, while continuing to greenwash with abandon? A new look is unlikely to cut it.
Read our full coverage of the ongoing legal action against Shell
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Shell on Trial in Dutch Court Over Failure to Cut Emissions
Shell has appeared in court in the Netherlands accused of breaching its duty of care obligations and human rights law by failing to take strong action on climate change.
The climate litigation case, brought by the Netherlands branch of Friends of the Earth and over 17,000 Dutch co-plaintiffs, is an attempt to force the oil major to make much bigger changes to its business to minimise its global warming impact. Read more…
Report Calls for ‘Green New Deal’ for Gatwick
Thousands of new low-carbon jobs could be created around Gatwick Airport if the local recovery from the coronavirus pandemic focuses on a “green transition” rather than tax cuts for the aviation industry, a new report argues.
A collaboration between the PCS trade union, Green House thinktank and Green New Deal UK found the cost of creating 16,000 green jobs is on a par with Gatwick’s share of the proposed scrapping of Air Passenger Duty for the next 12 months. Read more…
Comment: Here’s How to Radically Change the Way Britain’s Schools Teach Climate Change
The UK is currently facing an unprecedented challenge: we need to reach net-zero emissions to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis, but we cannot do this without a workforce equipped with the right skills.
A recent report found the UK faces a deficit in green skills needed for jobs in renewable energy, electric transport manufacture and low carbon building construction, and that this shortfall is severely limiting potential emissions reduction. Read more…
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