Working with nature to remove and reduce CO₂ emissions

Shell has set a target to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050. This supports the more ambitious goal to tackle climate change laid out in the United Nations’ Paris Agreement: to limit the rise in average global temperature to 1.5° Celsius.

We are transforming our business to meet our target by:

  • Avoiding emissions by adopting solutions that are more efficient or emissions-free when used.

  • Reducing emissions from our operations and providing more low-carbon energy, such as charging for electric vehicles, hydrogen and electricity generated by solar and wind power.

  • Capturing, storing and compensating for remaining emissions.


What are nature-based solutions?

Shell is investing in nature-based solutions projects that protect and restore natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, and coastal and marine areas in a way that protects or enhances nature’s power to absorb carbon dioxide from the air and store it in plants’ trunks, stems, roots, leaves and soils.

These projects are also about preventing the release of greenhouse gases, for example through halting deforestation or unsustainable agriculture practises. These projects aim to enhance biodiversity, and deliver other benefits such as improving water quality, flood protection, and the livelihoods of the people who live there.

Employees in forest

Avoid – Reduce – Compensate

First, we seek to avoid emissions by adopting solutions that are more efficient or emissions-free when used.

In situations where that is not possible, we reduce emissions by using lower-carbon fuels and technologies.

Finally, we seek to capture, store, and compensate for remaining emissions.

Carbon compensation involves balancing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted with an equal amount captured or stored.

To achieve this, Shell invests in nature-based solutions projects that protect and restore natural habitats which in turn, prevent the release of carbon to the atmosphere or removes and store carbon from the atmosphere. Additionally, Shell purchases carbon credits from projects that it does not invest in to compensate for residual emissions.

a man and a woman walk along rapids in the forest

Nature-based solutions and carbon credits

Each metric tonne of carbon dioxide stored or avoided by a project generates one carbon credit, which can then be sold in the carbon market.

Carbon markets are trading systems that involve buying and selling carbon credits to individuals, businesses or governments that are looking to address their hard-to-avoid emissions while they work to decarbonize their operations.

Using nature-based solutions—and the system of carbon credits—to protect and restore natural ecosystems like forests, grasslands, wetlands, and coastal areas, we can play an important part in helping to reduce greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

southern alberta prairies canada

Nature-based solutions projects in Canada

Tŝilhqot’in Reforestation Project

Shell Canada and the Tŝilhqot’in National Government are working together on a reforestation project in the Chilcotin Region of the British Columbia Interior. Wildfires have significantly impacted the region and the Tŝilhqot’in communities located there.

The project will see reforestation of an estimated 840,000 trees (all native species) on approximately 700 hectares of land devastated by wildfire.

The project is funded by Shell, and tree planting is managed by Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation, a Tŝilhqot’in forestry company. Tree planting is focused on areas that have not regenerated on their own or that have been slow to regenerate.

Retaining Canada's Grasslands Using Carbon Offset Markets

A pilot project between Shell Canada and a diverse group of organizations is testing and refining a carbon offset protocol that, if proved successful at the pilot stage, will be implemented to govern projects that generate carbon credits for carbon stored by grasslands conserved in Canada.

Qualifying landowners and ranchers are participating in the pilot. Those who sign a land conservation agreement that protects grasslands can generate additional revenue through carbon credits.

Shell Canada and the AgriAssurance Program (under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, is funding the project. The project is led by the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association and supported by a diverse group of organizations who are contributing significant knowledge and in-kind resources.

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Nature-based solutions

Learn more about how Shell is implementing nature-based solutions across the globe, and how it benefits communities, the climate and biodiversity.

Our climate target

In tackling climate change, the focus is increasingly on limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5⁰ Celsius. Shell supports this ambition.