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Climate-related metrics and targets

Metrics used by Shell to assess climate-related risks and opportunities in line with its strategy and risk management process

This section describes our energy product and carbon emissions performance and metrics used to monitor our progress in respect of significant climate-related transition risks and opportunities, including targets reflected in remuneration of senior management and employees.

Key metrics we use to track progress against our energy transition strategy are the NCI of our portfolio and our absolute emissions. Additional metrics associated with the resilience of Shell’s strategy to transition risks and opportunities are included in “Resilience of Shell’s strategy to different climate-related scenarios”. This includes information on capital allocation between our business segments and the sensitivity of our assets to carbon, discount rate and commodity price assumptions.

Another potentially significant climate-related risk relates to Shell’s physical risk exposure at an asset level. We are working to establish metrics in this area to monitor our exposure to this risk across the Group.

Our overall climate target is to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050. It includes net-zero emissions from our operations (Scope 1 and 2 emissions), as well as net-zero emissions from the end-use of all the energy products we sell (Scope 3 emissions). We have set short-, medium- and long-term targets to track our performance against our overall climate target over time.

We believe our total absolute emissions peaked in 2018 at 1.73 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e).

In October 2021, in support of our 2050 net-zero emissions target, we set a target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 absolute emissions from assets and activities under our operational control (including divestments) by 50% by 2030 compared with 2016 levels on a net basis. We monitor our progress against these targets using the key metrics described.

Climate-related targets summary

Net Carbon Intensity [A],[E] Reference year and target type2016 intensity2022 actual performance3.8% reduction2023 – 20246-8% by 20239-12% by 202420259-13%203020%203545%2050Net zeroAbsolute emissions Scope 1 & 2 [B]Reference year and target type2016 absolute2022 actual performance30% reduction2023 – 20242025203050%20352050Net zeroRoutine flaringReference year and target typeabsolute amissions2022 actual performance0.1 million tonneshydrocarbons flared2023 – 20242025eliminated203520302050Net zeroMethane emissions [C]Reference year and target typeintensity2022 actual performance0.05%2023 – 20242025below 0.2%203520302050Net zeroScope 3 [D]Reference year and target type2016 absolute2022 actual performance1,174 million tonnes CO2e2023 – 20242035203020252050Net zeroAbsoluteemissionsScope 1 & 2 [B]Net CarbonIntensity [A],[E] Scope 3 [D]Routine flaringMethaneemissions [C]2016intensity3.8%reduction20%45%6-8% by 20239-12% by 20242016absolute50%2016absoluteabsoluteemissionseliminated9-13%Net zerointensitybelow0.2%2022 actualperformance202520352050Reference yearand target type2023 – 2024203030%reduction0.05%1,174 milliontonnesCO2e0.1 milliontonneshydrocarbonsflared
[A] Our total absolute emissions peaked in 2018 at around 1.73 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) per annum.
[B] Operational control boundary.
[C] Overall methane emissions intensity for facilities with marketing gas.
[D] Indirect GHG emissions (Scope 3) based on the energy product sales included in Net Carbon Intensity (NCI) using equity boundary.
[E] Our interim targets for 2035 and 2050 are based on mitigation activities undertaken by both Shell and our customers.

Net carbon intensity (NCI)

Shell’s NCI is the average intensity, weighted by sales volume, of the energy products sold by Shell. It is tracked, measured and reported using the Net Carbon Footprint (NCF) methodology.

We have received third-party limited assurance on our net carbon intensity for the period 2016 to 2022.

Scope of Net Carbon Intensity [A]

Emissions from energy products included within the Net Carbon Footprint methodology

ProductionProductionProductionThird-partycrude oilThird-partygasThird-partyproductsThird-partypoweradaEmissions from bringingown products to marketdPower distributionbcEmissions from useof sold productscbEmissions from bringingthird-party products to marketOwn oil andgas productionProcessing,liquefaction,gas-to-liquids(GTL)RefiningSalesSalesRenewableenergyGasproductionRenewableraw materialsPower plantProcessingProcessingDistribution and salesDistribution and salesThird-partyproductsOil products Natural gasPowerBiofuelsGTLLiquefiednatural gas(LNG)Use of our energy productsUse of our energy productsUse of our energy productsSalesThird-partypowerDistribution and salesProcessingSalesProcessingScope includes Shells CO2 sinks such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and nature-based solutions (NBS)ProductionUse of our energy productsProcessingDistribution and salesOwn oil andgas productionProcessing, liquefaction,gas-to-liquids (GTL)RefiningSalesSalesSalesSalesRenewableenergyGasproductionPowerplantRenewableraw materialsProcessingOilproducts NaturalgasLiquefiednaturalgas (LNG)GTLPowerBiofuelsThird-partycrude oilThird-partyproductsaadEmissions from bringingown products to marketdPower distributionbcEmissions from useof sold productscbEmissions from bringingthird-party products to marketThird-partygasThird-partyproductsThird-partypowerThird-partybiofuelsScope includes Shells CO2 sinks such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and nature-based solutions (NBS)
[A] To be read in conjunction with Basis of preparation.

Performance – NCI

In 2022, Shell’s NCI was 76 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule of energy (gCO2e/MJ), a 1.3% decrease from the previous year and a 3.8% reduction compared with 2016, the reference year. The decrease in Shell’s NCI in 2022 was primarily due to an increased proportion of renewable power and corresponding reduction in the carbon intensity of our power sales. Shell’s 2022 NCI includes 4.1 million tonnes of carbon credits, compared to the 5.1 million tonnes which were included in Shell’s 2021 NCI.

NCI reference year: 2016
(equity boundary)











Estimated total energy delivered by Shell [A]

trillion (10^12) MJ





Estimated total GHG emissions included in NCI (net) [B]

million tonnes CO2e





Carbon credits

million tonnes CO2e





Estimated total GHG emissions (gross) [C][D]

million tonnes CO2e






The NCI calculation uses Shell’s energy product sales volumes data, as disclosed in the Annual Report and Sustainability Report. This excludes certain contracts held for trading purposes and reported net rather than gross. Business-specific methodologies to net volumes have been applied in oil products and pipeline gas and power. Paper trades that do not result in physical product delivery are excluded. Retail sales volumes from markets where Shell operates under trademark licensing agreements are also excluded from the scope of Shell´s net carbon intensity metric.


These numbers include well-to-wheel emissions associated with energy products sold by Shell, on an equity boundary basis; they also include the well-to-tank emissions associated with the manufacturing of energy products by others that are sold by Shell. Emissions associated with the manufacturing and use of non-energy products are excluded.


All figures disclosed are rounded.


While the NCI is an intensity measure and not an inventory of absolute emissions, a notional estimate of the amount of GHG emissions covered by the scope of the NCI calculation can be derived from the final NCI value for any year. Similarly, a fossil-equivalent estimate of the total amount of energy sold included in the calculation can also be determined.


Acquisitions and divestments are included in the actual performance tracking with the target and baseline year unchanged. Note that acquisitions and divestments could have a material impact on meeting the targets.

As we implement our Powering Progress strategy, we are increasing the share of low-carbon products in our energy product sales, which is the biggest driver for reducing our NCI.

Our ability to change the emissions intensity of each energy product varies depending on the product type:

  • Hydrocarbon fuels – emissions from end-use by customers are by far the biggest contributors to the carbon intensity of the product. As a result, the emissions intensity of hydrocarbon fuels is expected to stay relatively unchanged over time. This is why we are focused on helping our customers decarbonise.
  • Power – the emissions intensity of power can be highly variable depending on how it has been generated. The proportion of our renewable power sales and the generation mix in countries where we sell power to the market both affect Shell’s overall power mix and its resulting emissions intensity.
  • Biofuels - can vary significantly in intensity depending on the feedstock and production process used.
net carbon intensity
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a unit of energy equal to one million joules
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