Shell consultant resigns after accusing company of ‘extreme harm’ to the environment


A senior safety consultant stopped working with Shell after 11 years, accusing fossil fuel producers in a bombshell public video for causing “extreme harm” to the environment.

Caroline Dennett argued that Shell “ignore the risks of climate change” and urged others in the oil and gas industry to “step back while there is still time”.

An executive working for independent agency Clout ended his business relationship with Shell in an open letter to management and 1,400 employees. In an attached video posted on LinkedIn, she said she quit because of Shell’s “dual conversation about the climate.”

Dennett accused the oil and gas company of “operating beyond the design limits of our planetary system” and “not prioritizing environmental safety over production.”

She said: “Shell’s safety ambition is ‘do no harm’. They call it ‘target zero’. And while it sounds honorable, it’s completely failing.

“They know that continued oil and gas extraction is extremely damaging to our climate, our environment, our people and whatever they say it is. Shell simply doesn’t use fossil fuels.”

“I cannot afford to marry such a conflict out of my conscience,” Dennett said in an interview with The Guardian.

Shell has been a “key customer” for Dennett’s business, specializing in the evaluation of safety procedures in high-risk industries, including oil and gas production. She started working with Shell after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill that shook the industry in 2010.

“I can no longer work for a company that ignores all the alarms and ignores the risks of climate change and ecosystem collapse,” she said. “That’s because, contrary to Shell’s public representation of net zero, it plans to explore and extract much more without reducing oil and gas,” she said.

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The consultant’s announcement was made on the eve of Shell’s AGM in London on Tuesday. PHOTOGRAPHS BY Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Dennett, a criminal justice graduate with a career in research and consulting, was inspired to stop working with Shell after seeing a news video of extinction climate protesters urging company employees to leave. The movement’s TruthTeller whistleblowing project encourages oil and gas workers to leave the industry.

The consultant, who ran an internal safety survey and based in Weymouth, Dorset, admitted that he had a “privilege” to leave and that “a lot of people who work for fossil fuel companies are unlucky.”

She urged Shell executives to “look in the mirror and ask yourself if you really believe that the vision of more oil and gas extraction guarantees a safe future for humanity.”

At the end of 2020, several Shell executives in the clean energy sector left the company. In the report, they were frustrated by Shell’s pace of transition to green fuels..

Her announcement came on the eve of Shell’s AGM in London on Tuesday. Greenhouse gas reduction plans will be discussed at a meeting where the Dutch activist group Follow This will push the company’s policies further in line with the Paris climate agreement. Shell’s board has told investors it will reject the group’s resolution that requires investors to set stricter climate targets.

Shell investor Royal London said it would abstain from voting on the company’s climate change proposal.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden could face an investor revolt against a £13.5 million payroll packet at AGM after investment advisor Pirc urged a negative vote.

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Shell also faces the prospect of a potential windfall to raise money to cut household costs after the energy industry reports massive gains from rising market prices and opposition parties have urged the government to impose a one-time levy. .

A Shell spokesperson said: We have set short-, medium- and long-term goals and are willing to achieve them.

“We are already investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, but the world will still need oil and gas for decades in a sector that cannot be easily decarbonised.”

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