Shell lobbied to undermine EU renewables targets, documents reveal

Shell lobbied to undermine EU renewables targets, documents reveal

Shell successfully lobbied to undermine European renewable energy targets ahead of a key agreement on emissions cuts reached in October last year, newly released documents reveal.

At the time of the deal European commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, said: “This package is very good news for our fight against climate change.” Adding: “No player in the world is as ambitious as the EU.”

But it now appears that a key part of the agreement – which was championed by the UK government – was proposed by a Shell lobbyist as early as October 2011.

Now documents released to the Guardian under freedom of information laws show that as far back as October 2011, Shell had begun lobbying the Barroso, who was succeeded by Jean-Claude Juncker last November, to scrap the bloc’s existing formula for linking carbon-cutting goals with binding renewable energy laws.

Shell argued that a market-led strategy of gas expansion would save Europe €500bn (£358bn) in its transition to a low carbon energy system, compared to an approach centred on renewables. “Gas is good for Europe, and Europe is good at gas,” the firm’s upstream executive director, Malcolm Brinded wrote in a five-page letter to Barroso.

Shell is the sixth biggest lobbyist in Brussels, spending between €4.25-4.5m a year lobbying the EU institutions, according to the bloc’s transparency register.

Source: The Guardian

Date: May 2015

Photo credit: Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

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