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Greenhouse gas emissions

Powering progress

We aim to be net zero on emissions generated by our operations by 2050 or sooner, in step with society, as well as on emissions associated with the energy we need to power them.

In October 2021, we announced an absolute emissions reduction target of 50% by 2030, compared with 2016 levels on a net basis. This new target covers all Scope 1 and 2 emissions under Shell’s operational control and complements our existing carbon-intensity targets.

Greenhouse gas emissions performance

Shell reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions under its operational control from 83 million tonnes in 2016 to 68 million tonnes by the end of 2021 (see Delivering our Climate targets).

Our direct (Scope 1) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased from 63 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in 2020 to 60 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2021.

Direct greenhouse gas emissions

million tonnes CO2e


This decrease was in part driven by the shutdown of the Shell Convent Refinery (USA) in late 2020, lower production at the Shell Norco Manufacturing Complex (USA) due to Hurricane Ida, and divestments in 2020 and 2021, which included the Martinez and Puget Sound refineries in the USA and the Fredericia refinery in Denmark. These decreases were partly offset by higher emissions due to the restart of the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Australia (which was shut down for most of 2020) and increased flaring at Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) in Nigeria.

In 2021, we implemented a variety of measures to reduce the energy use and increase the energy efficiency of our operations. Examples of some of the principal measures taken in 2021 are listed in the 2021 Annual Report.

Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions changes from 2020 to 2021

million tonnes CO2e

556065707520212020AcquisitionsReduction activities and purchased renewable electricity [C] [D]710.0(4.0)2.7(2.2)68Emissions [A] [B]aabcdebcDivestments and other reasonsChange in outputde
[A] Total Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, rounded to the closest million tonnes. Scope 2 emissions were calculated using the market-based method.
[B] We have restated our 2020 Scope 2 emissions from 9 to 8 million tonnes CO2e following a correction of an efficiency factor for steam at one of our assets and a revision to how internal energy transfers of steam and electricity were accounted for at several of our assets to remove double-counting between Scopes 1 and 2.
[C] In addition to reductions from GHG abatement and energy efficiency projects, this category also includes reductions from permanent shutdown of the Convent and Tabangao refineries and the impact of transformational activities at our Shell Energy and Chemicals Park in Singapore.
[D] Excludes 1.05 million tonnes of CO2 captured and sequestered by our Quest CCS project in Canada in 2021.

Our indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with imported energy (Scope 2) were 8 million tonnes in 2021 (using the market-based method), compared with 8 million tonnes in 2020.

We undertake external verification of our greenhouse gas emissions annually. Our 2021 Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions have been verified to a level of limited assurance. Limited assurance means nothing has come to the verifier’s attention that would indicate that the greenhouse gas data and information as presented in the Greenhouse Gas Statement were not materially correct.

Read our most recent assurance statements at

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Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company
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