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Shell sold millions of ‘phantom’ carbon credits

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Shell has been implicated in selling millions of carbon credits, dubbed 'phantom' credits, to Canada’s major oil sands companies
• These credits were supposedly based on CO₂ reductions by Shell's Quest carbon capture facility which never materialized, due to a subsidy scheme by Alberta's government

🔭 The context: The Alberta government allowed Shell to register double the emissions reductions actually achieved by Quest between 2015 and 2021
• As a result, Shell registered 5.7 million credits without true CO₂ reductions. The practice ended in 2022 when the subsidy was reduced

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: This incident raises significant concerns about the reliability of carbon credits and carbon capture technology, which are critical in global efforts to mitigate climate change
• False crediting undermines trust in such mechanisms and potentially exacerbates climate impacts

⏭️ What's next: Despite the controversy, the demand for state support in carbon capture technology persists, especially in regions like Alberta, which are heavily invested in oil sands production
• Shell is considering investing in another carbon capture facility, which could influence future regulatory approaches to emissions reduction

💬 One quote: "Selling emissions credits for reductions that never happened ... literally makes climate change worse," criticized Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada.

📈 One stat: Shell was able to register 5.7 million 'phantom' credits.

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