Internal documents show that British–Dutch multinational oil and gas company Shell have been aware of links between fossil fuel use and climate change since the 80s.
The documents were linked by Dutch newspaper De Correspondent this Thursday, and reveal that shell researchers shared concerns that climate change had the potential to disrupt the profits of the fossil fuel industry. The documents state that lawsuits from environmental groups would be likely due to extreme weather.
An 1988 report warns “With the very long time scales involved, it would be tempting for society to wait until then before doing anything,” and continued “The potential implications for the world are, however, so large that the policy options need to be considered much earlier. And the energy industry needs to consider how it should play its part.”
Climate Liability News shared:
One of the documents, written in 1998, models an eerily accurate scenario of violent and damaging storms hitting the East Coast of the U.S. in 2010.
“Following the storms, a coalition of environmental NGOs brings a class-action suit against the U.S. government and fossil-fuel companies on the grounds of neglecting what scientists (including their own) have been saying for years: that something must be done,” the report projects.
Environmentalist and Founder of 350.org Bill McKibben tweeted:
“Okay, vast new trove of documents found by Dutch researcher show Shell too knew everything about climate change back in the 1980s. The basic immorality of these companies is stunning. #ShellKnew”
Okay, vast new trove of documents found by Dutch researcher show Shell too knew everything about climate change back in the 1980s. The basic immorality of these companies is stunning. #ShellKnew https://t.co/FnAQo7coJ3
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) 5 April 2018
And shared with De Correspondent “Had they merely been candid with the world, we could have gotten to work then, and while global warming would not yet be ‘solved,’ we’d be well on the way,” said McKibben.
“Instead they appear to have chosen the path of hedging, minimizing, and diverting—and given the stakes, this was both tragic and immoral. Shell knew. And now we do too.”
Image Credit1: kwest19 / 123RF Stock Photo
Image Credit2: MaxPixel