Greenpeace: Shell CCS Project Sold $200M Of ‘Phantom’ Credits

Greenpeace: Shell CCS Project Sold $200M Of ‘Phantom’ Credits - Carbon Herald
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In a scandalous revelation, a new investigative report from Greenpeace reveals that the leading Shell carbon capture project in Alberta, Canada, has been selling ‘phantom’ carbon credits. 

The shocking news says that the oil and gas supermajor had received a ‘hidden subsidy’ from the province, which made the company’s flagship carbon capture project appear profitable. 

The report from Greenpeace comes only days after a planned $2.4 billion carbon capture project in the same province was canceled due to not being economically viable. 

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According to documents obtained by the independent movement via freedom-of-information legislation, over half of the carbon credits sold by Shell’s Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility had been generated from CO2 that was never captured. 

Hence, of the $406 million (CAD) carbon credit sales, some $200 million (CAD) were received for non-existent, or ‘phantom’, as the report calls them, credits. 

The explanation provided by Greenpeace, based on the obtained documentation, is that the province of Alberta had knowingly granted Shell subsidies in the amount of two tons of CO2 for every ton captured and stored by the CCS plant.  

The Quest CCS plant is Canada’s longest running carbon capture facility that has been in operation since 2015. 

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In the time since its launch, the project has officially received $777 million (CAD) in subsidies from both the federal and provincial governments.

However, if to that amount we add the ‘hidden subsidies’, it appears that 93% of the costs of Shell’s Quest CCS project have been funded by taxpayers, which inevitably raises the question of carbon capture’s potential to become economically sustainable. 

“Selling emissions credits for reductions that never happened is the worst kind of hot air, because it literally makes climate change worse,” said Keith Stewart, Greenpeace Canada’s senior energy strategist and author of the Selling Hot Air report. 

“The false promises and phantom emissions surrounding this project are a powerful illustration of why Canada needs a legislated cap on greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector.”

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