All posts tagged: fossil fuels


Fossil free KAZA vision

The world is at crossroads. Global warming and biodiversity loss is increasing by the hour. Wars are raging while the planet is burning. There’s no way to deny the obvious. Or the looming doom at the horizon. It’s easy to lose hope. It’s hard to find the needed daily energy to fight for a better world. But hope is not dead and there are positive developments which show that not everything is lost yet and that the fight is worth fighting. Andy Gheorghiu outlines in this blog his vision for a fossil free KAZA region in sub-Saharan Africa and explains why it could develop into a global lighthouse project for a better world. Read More

Shell Games: Holding them accountable

Recently the powerful climate NGO ClientEarth took the unprecedented step of filing suit directly against Shell’s Board of Directors on behalf of investors for failing to manage risks posed to the company by climate change and implement an energy transition strategy that aligns with the Paris Agreement. Nevertheless, at their most recent shareholder meeting, Shell announced plans to reduce renewables spending while investing more in fossil gas and LNG. So will legal action be able to force Shell to actually change course? In this edition of the Shell Games series (read part 1 and part 2), lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum reviews the status of even more lawsuits and legal questions now being brought against this oil and gas behemoth. Read More

Shell games: dodging lawsuits and greenwashing charges on both sides of the Atlantic

In 2021, a court in the Netherlands, where Shell was long been headquartered, ordered this leading historical global polluter to drastically change tactics and begin reducing emissions, immediately. Since then, Shell has moved their HQ to the UK and is enjoying record profits while announcing plans to reduce investments in renewables. Undaunted, Civil Society continues taking aggressive action. In February 2023, Global Witness lodged a greenwashing complaint against Shell to U.S. authorities, a tactic also used by NGO ClientEarth. Recently an advertising board in the UK ordered Shell ads off the airwaves for making false environmental claims. How can legal action force Shell to actually change course? In this edition of the Shell Games series (read part 1 and part 3), lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum reviews a few of the mounting legal challenges being brought against this oil and gas behemoth. Read More

In winter 2022-23 Europeans got serious about energy conservation. But can they do it again?

Facing embargoes on Russian fossil fuels and high energy prices, Europe survived last winter largely because of renewable energies, and the hard-nosed scrimping and saving of both Europe’s private sector and citizenry – not because of nuclear power. The continent’s populations hunkered down to conserve energy as never before: turning down heating, switching off non-essential lighting, taking shorter showers, donning heavier sweaters and woollen socks, vacationing closer to home, and insulating windows and doors, among other energy efficiency measures. However, as we will see, it was European industry that really saved the day, writes Paul Hockenos. Read More

The UAE’s unconventional COP

The lead up to what the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hopes will be a pivotal COP28 has been overshadowed by questions about whether the UAE, as a major oil-producing country, is sincerely interested in decarbonization. The debate over the UAE’s chairmanship (and in particular, the chairman himself) has been louder than talk of the topics on the table at this year’s COP. How is the UAE positioning itself to be a decarbonization leader, and are its ambitions to be a climate leader substantiated or merely symbolic? Joelle Thomas takes a closer look.

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Shell games: unearthed docs reveal company’s deep awareness of fossil fuels’ existential risks

The third largest oil and fossil gas producer behind ExxonMobil and Chevron, as late as 2021 Shell and its customers released almost 1.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—more than the emissions of Japan, the world’s third-largest economy. Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine proved a boon to Shell: on the back of record energy prices, the company reported profits of $39.9bn for 2022, the highest in its 115-year history. But despite heat-trapping emissions skyrocketing along with global thermostats, during their annual earnings call, CEO Wael Sawan announced plans to cut spending on its renewables unit given their thinner profit margins. This comes after a cache of documents published earlier this year prove Shell knew far more about the “greenhouse effect” and the existential threats posed by the burning of fossil fuels than previously revealed — potentially bolstering legal efforts to hold Big Oil accountable for the worsening global climate emergency. In the first of a multi-part series (read part 2 and part 3), lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum reviews new revelations around what Shell knew, when it knew it and how it publicly denied its own terrifying data.

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Germany and LNG | The Global Energy Transition Podcast

In response to Russia’s invasion and brutal war of aggression against Ukraine in 2022, many European nations, particularly Germany, have banned Russian fossil fuels imports. For Germany this has meant not only finding new sources of liquified natural gas (LNG), but also spurred the government to establish several new LNG terminals. However, LNG, which is mainly cooled and compressed methane, represents a major source of climate-harming emissions. Read More

Losing Lützerath: To save Germany, the occupied village must be destroyed

By the time you read this, the village of Lützerath may already be gone – part of the price paid for getting RWE, Germany’s largest energy producer, to stop mining and burning brown coal by 2030. Yet short term, RWE is ramping generation at their lignite-burning plants, among the most polluting in Europe, to make up for sanctioned Russian gas and help Germany get through the next two winters. But climate scientists warn, burning all the coal underneath the activist-occupied town could risk breaking the emissions limits set under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Worse, as lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum relates, the steep terms of the deal are splintering the Greens, potentially setting party leadership against its most ardent climate activists.

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Winter is coming – plastic must go

Scientists and climate activists have highlighed and warned against the significant global warming impact of fossil gas and an expansion of related infrastructure. Furthermore, analysts have also repeatedly criticized Europe’s deep dependency from Russia – created particular by Germany with the help of petrochemical giant BASF and it’s daughter Wintershall Dea. Putin’s war in Ukraine is forcing the EU now to profoundly restructure it’s energy landscape and to save gas for the coming winter. But while the public is being told to shower cold and heat less Europe is still feeding a fossil fuels hungry petrochemicals and plastics industry. Andy Gheorghiu outlines the major findings of a new report that reveals the significant dimension of this gluttony and that calls for a profound new diet for this sector.

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